Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Agriculture and Forestry

Issue 29 - Evidence - Meeting of May 26, 2015

OTTAWA, Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry met this day at 5:05 p.m. to study international market access priorities for the Canadian agricultural and agri-food sector.

Senator Percy Mockler (Chair) in the chair.


The Chair: Honourable senators, I see that we have a quorum. I declare the meeting in session.

I welcome you, honourable senators and Mr. Paulson, to this meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. My name is Percy Mockler, senator from New Brunswick and chair of the committee. At this time, I will ask senators to introduce themselves.

Senator Tardif: Good afternoon. Senator Claudette Tardif from Alberta.

Senator Moore: Good afternoon, Mr. Paulson. Nice to see you here. Wilfred Moore from Nova Scotia.


Senator Maltais: Welcome. Senator Maltais from Quebec.


Senator Oh: Senator Oh, Ontario.

Senator Unger: Senator Betty Unger, Edmonton, Alberta.

Senator Ogilvie: Kelvin Ogilvie, Nova Scotia.

The Chair: Thank you, honourable senators. As our witness today, we welcome, from the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Dr. Allan Paulson, President.

Mr. Paulson, thank you for accepting our invitation to share with the committee, as per our order of reference from the Senate of Canada on free trade agreements, your opinion on what's to come. With your experience, I now invite you to make your presentation, which will be followed by senators asking questions. Again, on behalf of the committee, I welcome you.

Allan Paulson, President, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology: Thank you very much and thanks for the invitation. It's a pleasure to be here. My name again is Allan Paulson. I'm President of the CIFST or Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology. My day job is professor of food science at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I teach primarily food chemistry, food processing and so on.

For those who are interested, I'm also a certified professional sommelier, so afterwards if you would like food and wine pairings, I'd be happy to help you.

Getting back to the presentation, the CIFST was founded here in Canada in 1951. It's the only organization that links food science professionals across the country and across sectors, so industry, government and academia. The mission of the institute is to promote food science and technology as a means to ensure a safe, nutritious, wholesome and varied food supply.

We have about 1,100 members. About 60 to 65 per cent are from industry, mainly processors and suppliers. We have a very high student component, 20 to 25 per cent who are undergrad students to PhD. We have about 10 per cent academics and about 5 per cent from government, so we have the full spectrum.

I'd like to just talk briefly about some of the opportunities and challenges for the food processing sector, primarily with respect to export, first of all the opportunities.

As we all know, we have a growing, worldwide demand for food, and not just food in general but safe, high-quality and high-value-added food. The world population, as we're all aware, is predicted to reach about 9 billion people by the year 2050. Between the years 2007 and 2050, it's predicted that total world food consumption will increase by about 70 per cent — it will be 70 per cent higher in 2050 than in 2007 — and nearly half of that will be from China alone with their increasing middle class. That's one opportunity.

Another opportunity is demographic. Most people in this room are similar in age to me, more or less, and there's a huge expanding market for food for the elderly that hasn't really been tapped into yet. However, it has been estimated that by 2030, 20 per cent of North America's population and 25 per cent of Europeans will be 65 years of age and over. It's estimated that of the 9 billion people in 2050, about 2 billion will be seniors.

As we get older, we lose sensory acuity, such as vision, hearing, taste, smell, et cetera. We lose cognitive acuity. We get physically weaker, we have difficulty swallowing, and the nutritional requirements change, so this creates a real opportunity for developing foods to meet this growing demographic.

At the same time, we have an epidemic of diet-related, chronic, non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and some forms of cancer. This is another opportunity for foods and food products that will meet the needs of people with those diseases.

Related to that, the global demand for health and wellness products is booming. Presently, it's at about US$750 billion and rising. Canada is actually quite strong in this market. We have about 300 companies taking part, so I can see that we'll be able to take advantage of that opportunity.

We have an increased demand for ethnic foods, at least domestically. About 17 per cent of households shop at ethnic stores, and that hasn't been fully tapped into.

One thing we're at the cusp of is personalized nutrition. This is based on nutrigenomics. This is where parts of our diet are personalized due to our genetic makeup. If anyone wants examples, I can provide some later.

We also have a very strong R&D capacity in the country. We have many food researchers and research institutions across the full spectrum. We have academia, government and tech centres as well as pilot plants. We actually have a lot of resources for food research.

One of the challenges has to do with the makeup of the sector. The food processing industry, as you know, is very large, but the majority of the companies are small. In 2009, about 84 per cent of the food processing sector was made up of companies with fewer than 50 employees, but these represented only about 17 per cent of sales. By contrast, the four largest companies made up about 42 per cent of sales.

The small and medium-sized enterprises are often limited in their ability to access funds for research and development and expansion, and if they want to make health claims — if they're in the health food market, for instance — the cost of clinical trials is very high. They're also vulnerable to the realities of the food industry, where about 90 per cent of new products fail for one reason or another. If you're a larger company, you can bear that, but if you're a small company, that's a major hit.

Secondly, the sector itself is quite fragmented. There's no single unifying body. They have no check-off system for accessing granting programs that require matching funds, such as GF2, and they also don't have a single list of R&D priorities because those priorities change depending upon the size of the companies.

Finally, there are research and development challenges across the sector. We really do have a lot of potential for R&D capacity, but it's not being optimized. We have excellent researchers. We have excellent resources, but they're spread out across the country. The research culture isn't really geared to multi-sectoral research. We don't have a culture or a history of, for example, scientists working with health professionals working with lawyers, et cetera. That's something that we're going to have to change if we want to take advantage of these opportunities that have come up.

I'll stop there. I'm not sure how long that was, but I think I've probably said enough at this point, and I welcome questions.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Paulson.

Senator Ogilvie: Professor Paulson, you didn't really touch on this aspect, but I can't imagine that you don't have possibly both experience and certainly some interest and knowledge of the area.

We're looking at trade barriers and their implications, and we know that certain countries have used non-tariff barriers to foods. Particularly, one specific example is putting a zero limit on detection for, let's say, pesticides or something of that nature. You're very familiar with today's analytical techniques that allow us to measure; we can find almost anything almost anywhere today, numbers that have no consequence in terms of serious impact.

There is an issue that has reached a major international crisis point, and that's antibiotic resistance. I'm going to digress for a moment and then come back to the food issue. The WHO has declared it a world pandemic. The British Parliament has used the same language, but it really hasn't seized populations worldwide very much. I'm not going to go into what countries should be doing about that specifically, but it seems to me that it's not going to be long before countries will use the fact that in many countries, including our own, antibiotics are used on a wholesale, uninhibited scale in animal growth as part of their food supply. The evidence is based on a nearly 40-year-old article around which there's considerable question as to whether antibiotics really do give any real growth impact from a truly scientific point of view, but they're used wholesale. Farmers can buy them by the truckload and use them without any serious regulation. This is now being identified as an increasing possible impact on the development of antibiotic resistance and so on.

I'll come to my question around the trade issue. Some countries could start declaring that food produced under conditions where antibiotics are used in a non-prescription manner in animal rearing poses a worldwide threat, and, therefore, they could use this as a non-tariff barrier to the importation of food from those countries.

I'd like to get any general thoughts you might have on that and whether you would see a potential benefit to Canada's international trade in this area if Canada were to declare itself free of that practice. We know there's a certain amount of voluntary withdrawal from it now, and certain major companies — McDonald's, for example — are requiring that beef will only be used if that isn't the case.

Would there be a potential international marketing advantage if Canadian animal and poultry producers were able to declare that their products were developed from animals raised free from the wholesale use of antibiotics?

Mr. Paulson: That's a really good question. My personal view is that it would be somewhat similar to, say, GM or something like that. From the point of view of the safety of the food, I doubt there would be a detectable difference in the product itself as far as antibiotic and non-antibiotic.

But from the point of view of perception or what people think, they may perceive that it's less safe. From that point of view, yes, there probably would be an advantage to declaring yourself antibiotic-free, the same way as if you declared yourself GM-free or organic or whatever.

Senator Ogilvie: I agree with you entirely, and I should have made it clear. I wasn't thinking you would argue the food is safer but that humans are safer as a result of the reduction of the impact on the development of antibiotic resistance. In other words, Europe and other countries have shown themselves to develop policies that impact on general areas of health and so on. The point here is that it's a practice where there's not sound evidence showing that wholesale use of antibiotics in food production really does give growth stimulation, more rapid growth of poultry or animals.

So I'm thinking more from the pure marketing strategy sense as opposed to any difference in the food that is produced. That wasn't part of my thinking. You clarified that. Thank you.

Senator Tardif: Thank you, Mr. Paulson, for a very interesting presentation. You mentioned that there are serious research and development challenges facing many areas in Canada, especially in the food industry. I note that the OECD has indicated that research and development expenditures in the Canadian private sector have declined between 2001 and 2012. In your view, why is the private sector spending less on research and development?

Mr. Paulson: I'm thinking that with so many really small companies, they're operating pretty close to the bone and they really don't have a lot of extra money for R&D. Unless they can get a pretty good leveraging of their funds through various programs, I think financially it's very difficult for them to carry out R&D.

Senator Tardif: What could be done to stimulate further private sector investment?

Mr. Paulson: One thing would be to get away from a one-size-fits-all funding formula for research where the industry has to put up so many dollars, like 50 per cent or whatever. That would probably be more palatable for larger companies, but if you're a really small company, if the actual amount that you had to put up was less as a proportion of the total, you should still have some contribution, but it really is a deterrent to research.

I was the associate scientific director for a network of centres of excellence, the Advanced Foods and Materials Network, which went from 2003 to 2010 and is now carrying on as a private, not-for-profit company, AFM Canada Inc. We had several different types of programs, some of which were quite close to commercialization. Others, of course, were much further upstream. Even under the most favourable conditions, it was really tough to get money per se out of companies. You could easily get in-kind and that sort of thing, but they just don't have a lot of money floating around.

Senator Tardif: With the work you do in the area of quality and safety in the food supply, do you see that your scientific findings are being transferred and that they're being applied, for example, to new technologies, to innovation? I know that's the hope, but how much of this is really happening?

Mr. Paulson: That's hard to say because we don't actually track what the metrics are and who is going to do the tracking. I think that is kind of a failure of our present system. There are lots of good inventions, but getting that invention from the lab bench through pilot plants and into commercialization is extremely difficult financially. The valley of death from the lab bench through to proof of principle and commercialization is really tough to get funding for. I just don't know what else to say. It's tough.

Senator Tardif: Thank you for your comments. I'll leave it at that for now.


Senator Maltais: Welcome, Mr. Paulson. It is nice to see you. You are also a professor at Dalhousie University, I believe. Is that the only university associated with your organization?


Mr. Paulson: The question was is Dalhousie the only university? No. Let me see. Across Canada there are 13 or so universities with food science programs or food and nutrition, as well as colleges. So we have many touch points for academics across the country.


Senator Maltais: For example, is the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire in Saint-Hyacinthe part of your group?


Mr. Paulson: Is the research centre at Saint-Hyacinthe affiliated with our university? Not specifically, although we do have collegial interactions. That's an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research station.


Senator Maltais: I imagine it is the same thing for Guelph, Ontario, and other universities.

Canada has signed about a dozen free trade deals with various countries. Of course, each country has its own requirements. In your opinion, what would be the two or three best features these products could have in order to meet the demand from these new countries that are now among those buying Canadian?


Mr. Paulson: I don't think I understood the question.


Senator Maltais: Canada has signed about a dozen free trade deals with various countries. So we are primarily exporters. What would be the best feature of the products we manufacture to meet the demand of these various countries — who are not all on an equal footing? What are the two or three main attributes these products should have?


Mr. Paulson: Yes, I understand. What are the main attributes that our products should have in international trade?

Canada is well known for high quality, for safety, for pretty good traceability and purity. So if a product comes from Canada, then it has a very good reputation as being the real deal, and I think that it commands a premium because of that. I think that's probably, for me, the most important part, right now anyway, with respect to foods.


Senator Maltais: Other witnesses have said that the marketing of Canadian products should be done not by the government, but by private companies. When private companies want to market products abroad, of course, they rely on research centres, experts and universities. However, I do not feel that it is up to the government to fund this activity. The witnesses have clearly said it is up to the exporters to fund this activity. I would like to hear what you have to say about that.


Mr. Paulson: Not being an exporter myself, I can't say. My opinion is that there's probably room for both, in that the Canadian brand is something that could be touted by government. We have the Canadian flag. We have the Canadian brand — purity, high quality, et cetera — the things that as a general rule people are looking for.

But specifically, if you want to sell a certain type of product or a particular product, then I would think that that might be the responsibility of a company.

Part of the problem with the food processing sector is that unlike, for example, a commodity group — beef, for instance — there's no check-off. Beef producers, for every animal they sell, I believe $1 per animal goes into a check-off fund, and about three quarters of that I believe is used for marketing and then a quarter is used for research. So they have an advantage with respect to promoting Canadian beef.

The food processing industry doesn't have that, so it's more difficult to promote the industry as a whole that way because no single company really has the funds to do that.

The Chair: Senator Moore, if you would permit me to follow on a question from Senator Maltais.

Dr. Paulson, I'll give you a quote and then a question. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, nearly half of the value of Canadian primary agricultural production is exported as raw or processed products. Would you comment and inform the about committee how we can improve international market access for Canadian agri-food products when we look at emerging markets in the EU and the TPP?

Mr. Paulson: My personal feeling is that we need to add value. It's like selling a pound of butter; you don't make much money off of a pound of butter, but if you use that butter as an ingredient, in say a croissant or something like that, then you have the multiplier effect. If we can improve our value-added food products, the quality, the number, et cetera, and for specific targets — for example, we might be looking at products that offer better nutritional value or whatever based upon some nutraceutical that comes from a Canadian commodity — I think that gives us an edge. Just selling the commodity itself I don't think brings nearly as much profit as value added.

Senator Moore: Thank you for being here, professor. I was interested in your comments with regard to demographics. You mentioned something about 2030. I didn't get the percentages. In North America the population 65 years and older would be a certain per cent.

Mr. Paulson: About 20 per cent, apparently.

Senator Moore: Is any nation targeting that demographic specifically in terms of products and all the things you mentioned, which I didn't think about, like different senses in terms of being able to smell, swallow, all those things? Is your institute looking at that? Is anybody making a concerted effort to try to get a leg up on the market potential of those people?

Mr. Paulson: It's starting, but so far it's pretty well untapped. I see this as just being an incredible opportunity. You know yourself that if you want to improve consumption and if your sense of smell or taste isn't as good, then you have to have products that will have better taste. If you can't chew very well, you need softer foods, but they still have to be high-quality foods and even more nutritious.

Senator Moore: I think you said the health and wellness business is $750 billion a year. Is that in Canada?

Mr. Paulson: That's globally.

Senator Moore: You said there are 300 companies in Canada who are, I guess, producing health and wellness foods. What is health and wellness? Is that the supplements, the vitamins you see in the health sections of stores? What are we talking about when you refer to health and wellness?

Mr. Paulson: Nutraceuticals and functional foods, so supplements are one part of it but also, for example, omega 3 fatty acids. A company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Ocean Nutrition, microencapsulates omega 3 fatty acids, so that's part of it. You can get orange juice now, for instance, with phytosterols. It's these types of products that have enhanced nutrition, usually by adding something, or the supplements themselves. The supplements would be things like extractives. You get a bioactive compound out of a food material and you concentrate it and then sell that to be consumed, usually in pill form or caplet or something like that.

Senator Moore: You mentioned the high cost of clinical trials. I have a friend who is an investor in the United States, and he says it costs half a billion dollars to get a product through the FDA and then into the market. Is there some kind of an average cost in Canada? Are we talking about clinical trials for such things as health and wellness items? What were you talking about?

Mr. Paulson: I was talking in terms of health and wellness. If you want to make a health claim where you say something like "this product will do this," then you have to have evidence for that. The best evidence is where you have a clinical trial with humans and it's done in a facility that's set up for this. They're very expensive to do. You have to pay the subjects, the researchers, et cetera.

We have several clinical trial facilities in this country, and they are well known and much respected. In fact, we have a network of three of them — Laval, St. George's in Toronto and the Richardson Centre in Manitoba — and they're linked. They have a common coordinator. They use the same methods, which is very important, but they are also able to tap into different people.

Senator Moore: Do they share in the ownership of the intellectual property that comes out of these trials?

Mr. Paulson: Probably not, if they're hired just to do the clinical trial testing. Unless they had some stake in it, I couldn't see where they would have any intellectual property.

Senator Moore: So they've been hired by somebody else as an idea?

Mr. Paulson: Yes.

Senator Moore: You said there is no check-off system. What do you mean by that? What's a check-off system? Who should be doing it, and where should it be located?

Mr. Paulson: If I'm a beef producer and I belong to the association — I can't remember the name of it — or, if I'm a milk producer, for every litre of milk that I produce, some portion, a penny or whatever, goes to the organization, to a fund. This fund is then used to promote that industry as a whole through marketing. For example, the Dairy Farmers of Canada, that sort of thing. Then a portion is also used for R&D.

When you have funding programs like Growing Forward 2, where they require the industry to have some contribution, that's your industry contribution. For the food processing industry, they don't have that. They're very fragmented. They don't have one organization. Part of it is that they're pretty small to begin with. It would be tough for them to come up with a penny for a product. But also, who should pay? With the food processing and retailing sector, should it be the processor? Should it be the retailer? Should it be both? These things haven't been worked out.

Senator Moore: So does that also lead to your comment about the metrics? Who's tracking? We have a letdown in that area. Did you talk about the metrics in terms of what you just spoke about, the R&D and the check-off thing? Is that what you were thinking of when you mentioned metrics?

Mr. Paulson: No, what I was thinking of was the previous question. If there were a product or a process that was either invented or discovered and then made into a food product, I think the question was what percentage of those inventions are actually incorporated into food products. That's hard to say. It's really tough to say. There are some.

Senator Moore: So your organization doesn't do that kind of tracking?

Mr. Paulson: No, we don't.

Senator Ogilvie: This time I'll switch back to things closer to your direct issue. You talked about innovation.

Before I do that, I'll make a comment with regard to Senator Moore's question regarding clinical trials. You can't have someone conducting a clinical trial on something that it has a financial interest in. Then you would compromise the issue. It's the inventor or the producer that pays for the cost of the clinical trial, and the intellectual property resides with them.

You've correctly identified the valley of death and other challenges to transferring a good idea on paper into something that can actually reach the market. Recently, the farming community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia has moved into, from my perspective, a very different era in terms of their approach to agriculture and the value added to products, developing a number of — especially in the fruit and berry industries — innovative products.

Could you give your impression of the emerging activity in this area from our home province and whether you see a bright future in this area?

Mr. Paulson: I think that it's a really good step in the right direction. One type of product is based on haskap berries, for instance. These are like the super berry with respect to antioxidants and so on. They've really seized on that. That's an example of food for health, so you can put haskap berries into other things.

That's one example, but, as far as other examples, they don't really come to mind. The wine industry is doing quite well.

Senator Ogilvie: The apple producers have come together and have been developing some innovative juice drinks based on the use of the previous by-product or waste product, the peel and so on. The peel is showing the great interest in the antioxidants that everybody is trying to identify. As well, they are packaging processed apples, for example, in a number of different ways, such as the specially packaged slices. Those are value-added products that fall into the category of innovative developments in these areas and the opening up of new markets. It was a kind of broader approach.

Certainly, the wine industry has been developing in Nova Scotia, but that's moving along a more traditional line. Actually, it's a very modern development, but I was thinking more in terms of innovative uses of berry and fruit products. It seems to me that there are some fairly serious entrepreneurial efforts under way from the great farming enterprises in the Annapolis Valley.

Mr. Paulson: I agree with you. I've had an opportunity to visit some of those companies. They're applying the best science available, the best research and technology, and they're actually making a commitment to come up with new, innovative products. To their credit, the major stores really try to promote, in this case, Nova Scotia produce.

The Chair: Thank you. I have a question before I recognize Senator Tardif.

I was listening yesterday to a program, a demographer from Toronto talking about Atlantic Canada, specifically Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, I believe. I was caught by the statement you made that of the 9 billion people that we will need to feed, 2 billion will be seniors. That was your statement.

The demographer was saying yesterday — I won't go to the next level, the level of social programs, the level of economic activities — when he came to agriculture, that we will need to produce dietary food for the seniors of tomorrow if we are going to continue leading in agriculture in Canada, especially when you see that Canada is the top global trader of agricultural products per capita today. What would you recommend on that?

Mr. Paulson: Yes. We have a lot of room for improvement. We have quite a trade deficit with respect to manufactured food products. I think it's about $6.8 billion now, but we have a lot of opportunity to use our agricultural commodities in products that will be beneficial to seniors. We have to have the will to do it. It has to be a priority, but who's going to set the priorities? We don't have a national food policy or food strategy. Without that, I think it will continue to be fragmented, whereas Australia has very recently come out with a national food strategy. They have goals, priorities, basically a road map. They've created an organization to oversee this, and they're one of our competitors.

From my point of view, we finally got food onto the national science and technology priority list, but that's not enough. We really do have to make sure that we recognize the food processing industry and food as the number one industry in the country. It has really taken a back seat to other sexier industries, but when you look at the value to the economy, it's extremely valuable, and the potential to be even more valuable is very high.

I think that if we can come up with a national food strategy as a nation, and we set priorities and we fund appropriately for upstream, for the midstream, the valley of death and then near market, we can really hit above our weight as far as global food production.

Senator Tardif: I understand that the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology has an international liaison committee.

Mr. Paulson: Yes.

Senator Tardif: What type of work do you do with your international counterparts? Are they our competitors? What type of research projects are you working on with them? What's the story?

Mr. Paulson: That's the international liaison committee. The Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology is the organization in Canada that does the things that I said we did earlier. It basically links together food science professionals. There are about 90 or so other countries that have similar organizations, and most of these organizations are members of the International Union of Food Science and Technology, or IUFoST. In fact, Canada has a strong presence in this organization. The current president, Rickey Yada, is a Canadian. He's at UBC. The secretary general is a Canadian. Last year, in 2014, we hosted the World Congress of Food Science & Technology in Montreal.

The types of things that the international liaison committee does depends on which countries you're talking to, if they're developing countries, what are best practices, what are regulatory issues. With other organizations, you would be looking at, for example, research, what types of research, what's on the radar. It's kind of a mixed bag that way, but at least it's a linkage. We talk to other countries on a regular basis, and we have this larger body that facilitates that. We do a lot of interaction with the Institute of Food Technologists, which is in the U.S. They're huge by comparison. Their food industry is massive. It's good for us to have that link because we can find out what's going on there and we have a good exchange of information.

Senator Oh: Thank you, professor. In my experience, I just came back from a trip to China. I went to the food expo and helped one of our Canadian food producers promote maple syrup, blueberry juice, flaxseeds and Canadian roasted coffee — first time I saw it.

A lot of people came to the booths. We were doing a lot of photo ops and helping to boost our products. I said, "Let's go to the supermarket across the street," a huge supermarket. I said, "Let's go and see what products they have on the shelf." I couldn't find anything. In the end, someone found a bottle of ice wine in the supermarket. Whole rows of Australian agricultural food products, the U.S., New Zealand, but we couldn't find one item from Canada. Something is wrong.

Mr. Paulson: I agree. We have a very good international reputation, but I don't know why they wouldn't be on the shelves. One of the advantages we have is authenticity and traceability. If that says "Canadian ice wine," there's a good chance it is. But fraud and counterfeiting is rampant. It costs the estimate of about $15 billion a year globally just in counterfeiting food products. If you're able to track and trace, verify the production all the way from farm to bottle, and if you have ways of making sure that someone hasn't just popped the cork out of the bottle and filled it up with something else.

Canadian ice wine is highly prized. I was over in Spain two or three years ago, and a small bottle of Canadian ice wine in this fairly small town in Spain was on the shelf for around 200 euros or so. It was phenomenal. First of all, I couldn't believe that they had a wine shop like that, because they had some really high-end wines. But here, what do you pay for ice wine? Nowhere close to that. So they are really paying a premium for the Canada brand. I'm very disappointed to hear that —

Senator Oh: Our farmers or export companies are not aggressive enough to promote the Canadian brand?

Mr. Paulson: Although we do have trade missions often, so I'm not sure why that actually hasn't developed into goods on the shelf. That's not my area, but it's just my impression.

Senator Oh: Thank you.

The Chair: Dr. Paulson, thank you very much for accepting our invitation and for sharing your opinions with us. If you feel you want to add anything as we go forward in tabling the report later on, please don't hesitate to connect with our clerk.

On this, honourable senators, I declare the meeting adjourned.

(The committee adjourned.)