Written By: Friday, August 11th 2017

Larry Miller has a beef with Health Canada.

The Bruce Grey Owen Sound MP is siding with the dairy and meat industry upset over news that Canada’s next food guide could discourage us from consuming beef, butter and cheese.

Its the first overhaul of the guide in a decade and while it may not be the government’s intention, it also serves as a key marketing tool for certain food industries.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada have concerns over the milk section while the Beef Farmers of Ontario are worried about the shift from red meat to plant based proteins.

Since its introduction in 1942, Canada’s food guide has specifically recommended milk or milk products as part of a healthy diet. For dairy farmers, any walk away from that could threaten an industry that employs more than 220,000 people.

The Canadian meat industry, including the Canadian Meat Council and organizations like the Beef Farmers of Ontario, has expressed concern with the guiding principles.

These concerns include: emphasis/bias towards plant-based protein/encouraging Canadians to eat less red meat, inclusion of environmental impacts (should not be determined by health professionals), emphasis on ‘natural’ or meat gathered by hunting/fishing rather than human raised meat, and confusion between highly processed foods and lightly processed foods.

“I am concerned that the guiding principles released by Health Canada for Canada’s new food guide may have significant negative impacts on Canada’s meat and dairy sectors, and also the health of Canadians,” said Miller. “To eliminate the milk and alternatives category of the food guide and lump plant-based protein in with the kind of high quality protein from milk products and Canadian red meat is simply wrong. While I am in favour of Canadians having the freedom to choose their own diets and consume protein from whichever foods they may choose, there is seemingly a bias from Health Canada to encourage Canadians to move away from our dairy and meat industries towards plant-based diets. I will be writing to the Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture to call on them to not implement these recommended principles.”

For more information please visit; https://www.foodguideconsultation.ca/.