Prairie NDP Oppositions Urge Ottawa to Halt Meat Labelling Changes

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Agriculture Critics in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are calling on the federal government to scrap their proposed changes requiring front-of-package labelling on ground beef and pork. Trent Wotherspoon wrote a letter with Alberta NDP Agriculture Critic Heather Sweet and Manitoba NDP Agriculture Critic Diljeet Brar to the federal ministers of Health and Agriculture outlining their concerns with the proposed changes.

“At a time when Saskatchewan families are having to make hard, informed decisions about their groceries, the federal government is wrongly targeting more affordable sources of protein like beef and pork,” said Wotherspoon. “Consumers should have access to accurate nutritional information. Instead, these labelling changes risk telling Saskatchewan families that beef and pork are dangerous. It’s simply not the case.”

Last week, the federal government announced Health Canada is planning to require front-of-package nutrition symbols on foods containing 15 per cent of the recommended daily intakes of sodium, sugar and saturated fat. However, unlike single ingredient meats and dairy products which are exempted from these changes, the federal government is not planning to exempt ground beef or pork. 

The move was decried by industry groups and experts, including professor of food distribution at Dalhousie University Sylvain Charlebois who said the proposed warning labels on ground beef and pork are predicated on these products being consumed in their raw form.

“Front-of-package labelling must be accurate and reflect how the products are actually consumed,” said Wotherspoon. “They must also be fair and grounded in common standards, and I am happy to see exceptions made for other industries like dairy. We call on the federal government to protect and respect Saskatchewan beef and pork producers, and scrap these proposed changes.”

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