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Dairy Farmers of Canada: Go to the Keep Canadians Healthy website to comment on front-of-package labelling

Published on 05 April 2018

On Feb. 9, the Government of Canada announced that it was moving ahead with its front-of-package nutrition symbol public consultation, in which Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) will participate.

By exempting whole milk from this proposed policy, Health Canada recognizes the scientific evidence demonstrating the nutritional value of milk as a key contributor to the health of Canadians. However, as currently proposed, many other dairy products, rich in essential nutrients, will be stigmatised by a warning label that may confuse consumers as to which products are healthy and which are not.

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These labels would categorize foods as either healthy or unhealthy based solely on three factors: their levels of sodium, sugar and saturated fat. However, our bodies are complex and this approach to nutrition is too simplistic – it doesn’t take into account whether foods contain essential nutrients or reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

We encourage all dairy farmers and their supporters to respond to the consultations by using KeepCanadiansHealthy.ca to send the letter to the Canada Gazette consultation on front-of-package labelling. The website will automatically copy your member of parliament (MP) so they know you are concerned about the overly simplistic guidelines proposed.

“Dairy Farmers of Canada supports the education of Canadians on the benefits of a balanced diet. We are concerned that this approach to labelling may come with the unintended consequence of deterring Canadians from seeking more information on the nutritional value of dairy products, at the expense of a balanced diet for Canadians,” said Pierre Lampron, president of DFC. “We are pleased that the government is recognizing the nutritional benefits of whole milk; however, given the importance of dairy to the overall health of Canadians, we want to make sure that as the government goes through the consultation process, they take a more holistic approach.”

Did you know?

One of the main objectives of front-of-package warning labelling is to reduce chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Health Canada’s own 2015 Evidence Review for Dietary Guidance identifies the scientific evidence showing that milk products are beneficial for bone health and are associated with the reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. The report also states that Canadians do not consume enough vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre – milk is a valuable source of six of these nutrients.  end mark

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