February 12, 2018 –
The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) is concerned by last Friday’s announcement by the Minister of Health regarding proposed regulations which would see numerous dairy products carrying a front-of-package (FOP) nutrition label designed to act as a warning to Canadians.
“To put something that is, effectively, a warning label on the front of nutritious products like cheese and yogurt is puzzling,” said Mathieu Frigon, DPAC’s Interim Chief Operating Officer. “While we share in the government’s goal of improving the overall health of Canadians, we do not believe that putting a label designed to deter Canadians from consuming an entire category of nutritious products is going to help us collectively achieve this goal.”
The proposed exemptions on whole and 2% milk and infant formula do not go far enough. Dairy products are proven to provide significant nutritional benefits and to contribute to a balanced diet and, therefore, should be exempt from the regulatory requirement of FOP labels.
“To focus on sodium, sugar and saturated fat content in isolation is an oversimplification, which does not account for the many nutritional benefits which dairy products provide,” added Mr. Frigon.
A 2015 review of evidence for dietary guidance conducted by Health Canada included scientific evidence demonstrating that milk products are beneficial for bone health, and are associated with a reduced risk of a number of diseases, including: heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. The report also noted that dairy is a valuable source of Vitamins A, C and D, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium; six nutrients of which Canadians do not consume enough.
DPAC will participate in the Canada Gazette consultation process and will continue to encourage the government to consider further exemptions for dairy products.