A proposed regulation from Health Canada is being met with significant pushback from some Albertans.
The proposed change would require ground beef and pork to have a "high in" saturated fat warning label. Bow River Member of Parliament Martin Shields doesn't understand why meat is specifically being targeted.
"They didn't put any labels on dairy products. They didn't put any labels on potato chips, they didn't put labels on a lot of things. But they picked out ground beef, and ground pork to have a front label warning on them. And that is extremely strange," said Shields
"There's a zillion things out there on the shelves that they are not going to put this on, but yet they have picked out ground beef? Sort of a staple in our family's diets for a lot of people for generations? This to me just is wrong."
According to Shields, Canada would be the only country to require this warning label on ground meat. In a written statement, Shields noted that ground meat isn't a processed food, so he believes this should exempt it from a warning label.
"Ground meat like beef and pork are single-ingredient foods. They contain nothing more than beef or pork! Canadians know what they are buying, they don’t need a reminder. Ground beef is healthy. It’s a source of iron and protein, and part of a healthy Canadian diet," read Shields's statement.
Shields said he doesn't believe this is a conspiracy to specifically target cattle farmers, but doesn't know why the labelling should be required in the first place.
"I can't go into conspiracy mode and say 'this is an attempt to get rid of the agricultural product from great animals of beef and pork because they (MPs of Agricultural Committee) have a specific interest in the type of food they eat.' But it sure leaves you to wonder why," he said.
Shields is worried that these labels might negatively impact trade, as other countries may not be as willing to trade with Canada if our meat has a warning label on it.
"If other countries start understanding that in Canada we're warning about our own product, why would they then not question whether they should import beef or pork from Canada if within our own country we have warning labels on it?"
Not only is Shields against the labels, he believes that Canadian meat is some of the best in the world, so it should be celebrated rather than warned against.
"We have the highest inspected meat products in the world. Our inspection agency, the CFIA, they are stringent. So we know it's safe."
"We have fantastic products. As a country, (we should be) celebrating our industries, celebrating our food security, celebrating the efficient and careful way our animals are dealt with and produced in the sense of beef. Let's promote it! Let's say 'hey this is phenomenal.' Let's not label it as something that is harmful, which it isn't."