Canada AG voices opposition to ground beef and pork warning label


Several representatives of the Canadian farming community are sounding the alarm over proposed Health Canada regulations that would require ground meat products sold at retail to carry a “high in” saturated fat warning label.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association strongly urges Health Canada to exempt all grades of ground beef from front-of-package regulations. The CCA says ground beef should be exempt from Health Canada’s proposed FOP labeling, like other nutritious foods, such as single-ingredient meat, milk, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and calls for a policy fair.

According to the CCA, Canadians consume about half of their calories from ultra-processed foods that are low in nutrients. In contrast, ground beef is a nutrient-dense protein that provides iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Front labeling of single-ingredient whole foods stands in stark contrast to the fundamentals of healthy eating and will distract from the real priority: Canadians need to reduce their consumption of ultra-processed foods.

“Canadian farmers and ranchers produce high quality, delicious and nutritious beef,” said CCA President Reg Schellenberg. “We strongly oppose Health Canada’s proposed regulations and believe they send the wrong message to Canadians about single-ingredient whole foods.”

The CAC recently shared new evidence with Health Canada that suggests reductions in ground beef and ground pork consumption will have a nominal, at best, impact on the overall saturated fat intake of Canadians, while at the same time vulnerable populations (including women and children) at risk of increasingly inadequate iron intakes. In addition, recent analyzes show that ground meat contributes little to the overall saturated fat consumed by Canadians.

Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development Minister Nate Horner and Health Minister Jason Copping released the following statements regarding Health Canada’s proposed new labeling requirements for ground beef and pork:

“Alberta livestock associations have requested an exemption from proposed federal labeling requirements for ground meats, similar to exemptions offered for other nutritious single-ingredient foods such as milk, eggs, vegetables and other meats. The Government of Alberta supports this exemption. Ground meat, like other whole foods, is a healthy and affordable staple in the diets of many Canadians. Ottawa’s scientifically baseless labeling proposal for ground meat will unfairly affect families struggling with the cost life high and would be an added boost for producers who are already working to get their feet back on their feet,” Horner said.

“Every Canadian should be proud that Alberta cattle producers are driving economic growth by feeding the world with high quality meat. Imposing these warning labels sends a negative message to customers and makes our producers less competitive in the global economy. We work closely with the Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Cattle Feeders Association and Alberta Pork to support these industries. The Government of Alberta has expressed its concerns to its federal counterparts and will continue to stand up for our province’s ranchers.

“A healthy diet with an emphasis on whole foods is part of the foundations of overall health,” Copping said. “Ground beef and pork are whole foods, nutrient dense and still relatively affordable despite global food price increases. This decision was made without consultation with the provinces, which have expertise in nutrition and food science equivalent to that of the federal government. incompatible with the treatment of other products; this is not good policy and should be reversed.”

In a statement, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said it is concerned the regulations come at a time when inflation and food prices are at all-time highs.

“Putting a warning label on ground meat will have negative nutritional and economic impacts for consumers. Ground meat is a whole, single-ingredient food that is particularly important for vulnerable populations because it is affordable, safe, and offers an abundance of nutrients.

“In addition, this proposal makes Canada the only jurisdiction in the world to place a health warning label on ground meat – other countries that have implemented front-of-package labeling requirements exempt all single ingredient whole foods. The OFA strongly encourages Canada to adopt the same approach. .”


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