The Harper government has not yet named the leader of a promised probe into the listeriosis outbreak that killed 20 people - a lag critics say discredits an already suspect process.
The delay raises fresh concerns among food-safety watchers, who doubt Conservative commitment to overhauling what they say is a chronically short-staffed inspection system...
Critics assailed Harper's six-month investigation timeline as a rushed job that was more about dodging tough questions on federally supervised food inspection.
"We said at the time it looked like a political ploy just to take it off the agenda during the election," said Bob Kingston, president of the Agriculture Union representing food inspectors through the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
"I still think that's the case. But I would have expected them to attempt to try something. To have absolutely no action - it's a little bit surprising."
Kingston says changes proposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency include more stringent oversight, more reporting and more rigorous testing...
"It's absolutely clear that this so-called investigation is intended to be a whitewash," says editorial co-signer Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa researcher who is a lawyer and biologist by training.
"With Walkerton we had an inquiry," he said of the E. coli-tainted water tragedy in southern Ontario that killed at least seven people and sickened 5,000. "With tainted blood, we had an inquiry.
"With listeria, which killed a few-fold more people than Walkerton, we don't have one. It's no exaggeration to say that the Harper government has done less than any government in recent Canadian history to seek to understand what went wrong when Canadian citizens died. And it has sought to do less just because it knows it's culpable.
"This government is not willing to swallow its medicine. That's the difference."
I would argue the delay, or lack of priority, speaks volumes about the government's role in the tragedy. Clearly, the government understands that any probe will reveal their failings, the underlying ideological pre-disposition, which is why they are dragging their heels. Oh well, the "probe" commitment did what it was supposed too, neutralize, nobody really ever cared about food safety, just a potential electoral irritant.