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Health Canada Mandates Front of Package Warning Label for Ground Beef

Just when you thought government policy just couldn’t get any loonier, it does. Health Canada, the department that regulates everything from public health restrictions to prescription drugs to agriculture (yes, you read that right), is now mandating that Canadian ground beef and pork display a health warning label on the front of its packaging.

Canada would be the only country on earth to mandate this ‘warning label’ – other jurisdictions like the EU, Brasil, Israel, Chile, Mexico and others have exempted ground meat as ‘single ingredient, unprocessed foods.’ That makes sense. What Health Canada is doing does not, especially when considering many processed foods like sugary snacks, drinks, and potato chips are not mandated to display this label.

Besides wondering why on earth Health Canada would waste time, money, and resources attacking our agriculture sector yet again, one has to think what the basis of this mandated regulation was?

I’ve asked questions in the House of Commons on this issue and the only response back I’ve heard was more of the same talking points from the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Health. “Science.” This magic word that has been used and abused by the occupants of the government benches for years is once again being manipulated to fit the description of this regulation. “Our government will always prioritize health policies based on scientific evidence.”

What scientific evidence is that? Ground meat like beef and pork are single-ingredient foods. They contain nothing more than beef or pork! Canadians know what they are buying, they don’t need a reminder. Ground beef is healthy. It’s a source of iron and protein, and part of a healthy Canadian diet. Not to mention a huge part of our agriculture economy in Alberta and across the country. To suggest that implementing this warning label would contribute to a ‘healthier lifestyle’ must be ignorance or flat-out malice. Plus, the CFIA has stringent regulations that producers must follow to meet the high health standards. This leaves many questions… does the government want you to stop eating meat? Is it all part of their climate agenda because they believe agriculture contributes to climate change?

I believe this government needs to take a hard look at Canada’s economy and our ability to remain self-sufficient. Much like our energy industry, Canadian agriculture is world class – and has the potential to not only feed Canadians, but the rest of the world. Canadian ag doesn’t need more intrusive, nonsensical government regulations – it needs government to back off and get out of the way.

We should be champions of our ag industry, not seek to destroy it. I will always stand up for our farmers, ranchers, and agriculture industry.