April 10, 2018
Canada's dairy farmers wary of new product labeling guidelines
Canada's dairy farmers are concerned over proposed healthy-eating guidelines which could affect sales of milk and cheese.
According to The Western Producer report, the country's department of public health, Health Canada, had entered a consultation for front-of-package labeling in February, which led to the setup of the guidelines. A part of the requirements states, "placing new warning labels on the front of products sold in Canada for foods that are high in saturated fats, sugars and sodium."
The guidelines constitute a portion of the Healthy Eating Strategy which provides resources and legislation to promote healthier food choices.
Although the guidelines would not affect labeling for cow's milk, cheese, flavoured milk and yoghurt products will be marketed with such a warning. This would likely cause consumers to put affected products back "if they see a warning label," said David Wiens, chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, who warned that the development could impact the local market.
He reportedly heard that the warning labels could cost Canada's dairy industry up to $800 million in lost sales.
Furthermore, the Canadian government had encouraged using planted-based alternatives to dairy in meeting dietary needs.
According to Wiens, Health Canada also rejected a research conducted by the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and partially funded by the federal government.
DFC has voiced opposition against the new guidelines.