The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is speaking out on Health Canada's proposed front-of-package warning label for ground beef and pork.
Health Canada is proposing regulations which would require ground beef and pork packages to carry a "high in" saturated fat warning label.
The CCA's Tyler Fulton says they are strongly urging Health Canada to exempt all classes of ground beef from the proposed regulations.
"This is something that really resonates with our members because they know that we can't afford to have another hurdle between the consumer and our operations. The margins are so thin that it would be another blow, another economic blow to the viability of our farms."
He notes ground beef is single ingredient unprocessed product that is nutritious, delicious and cost effective for consumers.
"If there was one underlying message from the new Canada Food Guide, it was really about moderating your consumption of ultra processed foods. The unique thing about this is that what they're suggesting is to put a "high in" saturated fat label on ground beef. Ground beef being a single ingredient, unprocessed product."
The CCA is asking for a policy that is equitable, noting that ground beef should be exempt from Health Canada’s proposed front-of-package labelling like other nutritious foods, such as single ingredient meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, and fruit.
Other countries that have implemented FOP regulations have chosen to exempt all single ingredient whole foods, based on their nutritious value, including ground beef.
Fulton says Health Canada is doing the opposite and that just seems very out of step with the rest of the world and all of the science and recommendations that are happening elsewhere.
"It raises concerns with respect to how our trading partners may view this. If, for example, our American counterparts view this as being a barrier. A non tariff trade barrier, that thickens the border and makes it more difficult for for them to ship their products into Canada. Quite simply, that is not a fight that we want to take on especially in the context of the the resurgence of Country of Origin Labeling happening down there."