Health Canada is looking at requiring a new label change for packages of ground meat.
The change would require a “high in saturated fat” label, a sticker that isn’t welcomed by Manitoba beef farmers.
“It really threatens the viability of hundreds of operations across western Canada, if this were to go through,” says Tyler Fulton the president of Manitoba Beef Producers.
Health Canada previously told Global News the new label would not be to convey a warning, but is aimed at reducing health risks by providing consumers with quick information.
It is looking at requiring label changes on foods that could contain 15 per cent of your recommended daily intake of sodium, sugars and saturated fat.
Fulton says 85 per cent of Canadians consume ground beef monthly and he believes that demand would drop if labels were to change.
“Canada is the only one that is placing a label on a single ingredient product,” Fulton says.
Fulton believes the change would confuse shoppers.
“Our concern with this is that it overlooks the benefits that ground beef brings.”
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Registered dietician Tamara Sarkisian says labels shouldn’t be used to categorize foods.
“All foods can actually be part of a healthy diet,” she says. “There’s no one food that will benefit your health or one food that will ruin your health.”
She says lean ground beef still remains a great option for consumers health wise, but also a budget-friendly option as well.
“Typically we like to make sure to actually include a variety foods and labeling foods as good or bad that can actually make things a little more negative around eating.”
“Ground beef can have many benefits, of course protein, you have your iron, zinc and vitamin b12,” she says.
Fulton says he’s been told the regulation could in to effect in the next few weeks. He says he’ll be closely watched for any changes in consumer behaviour.