On Thursday, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada's Minister of Health announced the finalized Front-of-Package labeling regulations, part of the Government of Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy. In the finalized regulations, ground beef and pork are exempt from the requirement of having a front-of-package warning label.
"CMC is pleased that Health Canada is exempting ground meat like most other countries. This exemption will ensure that our members can continue to export their products without additional challenges, allowing us to keep feeding the world and Canadians with our world-class protein," says Chris White, president and CEO, Canadian Meat Council.
The Canadian meat industry says it appreciates that the Government of Canada listened to the sector's concerns and reversed the policy proposal on ground beef and pork – nutrient-dense, affordable proteins. The organziations thank all beef and pork producers and consumers across the country for raising the issue with elected representatives.
"Canadian families rely on ground beef as a nutritious and affordable food staple and an important contributor to food security. We are pleased with Health Canada's decision to omit ground beef from requiring a misleading warning label," says Reg Schellenberg, president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.
According to the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, almost 50% of beef consumed in Canada is ground beef and more than 90% of Canadians consume ground beef on a weekly basis. Ground beef is one of the most popular and trusted sources of protein and an incredibly important source of revenue for the beef industry.
"Canada's cattle feeders take great pride in producing high quality, nutritious beef using sustainable practices. We appreciate the Government of Canada recognizing ground beef and pork as a healthy part of the Canadian diet," says James Bekkering, board chair of the National Cattle Feeders' Association
The organizations say the finalized regulations demonstrate a recognition of what consumers, farmers and ranchers know well, beef and pork are wholesome sources of high-quality protein that are important staples in Canadians' diet.
"We're pleased Health Canada is exempting ground pork along with other nutritious foods such as milk, eggs, vegetables and fruit from a front-of-package label. Ground pork is a convenient, whole food that contributes essential nutrients many Canadians need more of in their diets," says Rick Bergmann, chair of the Canadian Pork Council.
The organizations thank the Government of Canada, including the Prime Minister, Minister Duclos and Minister Bibeau for recognizing the nutrient value of ground beef and pork, and for listening to their concerns. To the many leaders who advocated on their behalf both publicly and with colleagues, they thank them for their tireless efforts—notably John Barlow, Conservative Agriculture Critic; Yves Perron, Bloc Quebecois Agriculture Critic; Francis Drouin, Parliamentary Secretary to Agriculture and Agri-Food; Kody Blois, MP and AGRI Chair; and Senators Rob Black, Don Plett, and Paula Simons.
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