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Dairy Farmers Fear Canada’s Revised Food Guide Will Hurt Industry

by | January 14, 2019

Canadian cattle and dairy farmers are worried that the impending release of Canada’s revised food guide will hurt the industry. The new food guide, to be released sometime in January by Health Canada, appears to be recommending a drastic reduction in meat and dairy.

Canada's revised food guide

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Farmers Fear Canada’s Revised Food Guide

The slashing of the food group is being touted for health reasons, but those in the cattle industry are arguing that these recommendations are misleading and that some nutritional sources are better obtained and absorbed from meat products, and not from legumes and vegetables.

“Health Canada is unfairly targeting animal-based products and promoting vegetarian options for ideological reasons,” says Tom Koostra, chairman of Alberta Milk, in an interview with the Calgary Explorer. He goes on to accuse Health Canada of being “reluctant” to hearing from those in the industry because of anticipated accusations of bias, and saying that they needed to look at the science behind nutrition.

“There’s a difference between plant-based forms of iron and the iron found in meat, and the body absorbs them differently.” seems to be a common argument. Tom Lynch-Staunton, government relations manager with Alberta Beef products, says that the information could be confusing for Canadians, and that they could be misled into thinking that they’re getting the equivalent amount of iron from a serving of plant-based protein that they would get in a serving of meat, therefore not meeting their nutritional needs.

Canada’s dairy industry (DFC) has also warned the proposed changes to dietary recommendations, in Canada’s revised food guide, will harm the dairy sector, as well as being detrimental to the long-term health of Canadians. The DFC has said they’ve been virtually excluded from the formation process of the revised food guide, also saying that industry-funded scientific studies have been ignored. The DEC has vocalized their opposition to the elimination of the ‘dairy products’ food group, saying that these recommendations could lead future generations to believe that dairy is unhealthy.

What is your take on Canada’s revised food guide? Comment below.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via Julie@raisevegan.com

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