Want to save Canada’s new Food Guide? Get political

Photos Andre Forget

While I am known for not holding back at various times on my criticism of Health Canada, I don’t usually get political when it comes to my posts. But Andrew Scheer’s ongoing tactics are forcing me to abandon this stance.

We have been making great progress in putting the physical health of Canadians ahead of the financial health of food companies and commodity groups. The new Canada’s Food Guide is proof of this.

But apparently Andrew Scheer wants to change this.

According to news reports, Scheer is lamenting that these groups should have had a say in putting together the new guide. He says that if he is elected, he would absolutely review the guide.

In speaking to the Dairy Farmers of Canada, he talked about his son’s experience as a young child who was a picky eater. Along with food such as bacon and grilled meats, he survived on lots of chocolate milk. Since his son made it through those years eating these foods, why shouldn’t the food guide reflect this?

Are you kidding me?

Andrew Scheer is now a nutrition expert?

While kids can be healthy, be picky eaters and go through food jags, being a parent of such a child does not make one a nutrition expert. In fact, with issues such as these, consulting a registered dietitian could have been very helpful to the Scheer family.

The new food guide recommends that we focus more on plant-based foods but it’s certainly not promoting we drop animal foods. But it seems that Andrew Scheer wants these foods front and centre once again even though science suggests otherwise.

He’s also getting in his support of the food industry by saying he would abolish the front-of-package nutrition labelling- something Canadians support to help them make healthy food choices.

He stated, “ I can make all those decisions myself.”

That’s wonderful that he has lots of time to read food labels when he goes shopping. Many Canadians don’t have the luxury of extra time when they go food shopping.

But I do wonder how often Mr. Scheer actually does the family food shopping. (Whether he does or not doesn’t really matter.)

He has already interfered and played a role in killing Bill S-228 – The Child Protection Act which would have restricted the advertising of unhealthy foods to children. This bill had gone back and forth with overwhelming support in Parliament and the Senate and was awaiting final approval by the Senate when out of nowhere, it is said that Scheer interfered and stalled its passage. Because of the federal election and the bill not passing before the summer break, it essentially died.

This was legislation that 82% of Canadians supported.

So now the Conservative party and its leader are aiming at the food guide and other nutrition initiatives that would make choosing healthy foods an easier task.

I think we need to tell them we don’t want to go back to the past. We should be using science to guide us – not dollars and cents.

Do you agree?

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Categories: Nutrition News, Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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3 Comments on “Want to save Canada’s new Food Guide? Get political”

  1. Susanne Couture
    July 18, 2019 at 12:57 pm #

    Agree totally. Absolutely hate it when the health of the nation is less important than that almighty dollar. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just apply to food.
    On another topic….
    your feedback on this would make an interesting topic for your blog as the evils of canola oil are making the rounds on FB now.
    Just love the self-described nutrition experts of the world.

  2. Lisa
    July 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm #

    I hope we get to a day when food is no longer attached to the words “healthy”, “good”, “bad”, “clean” Can we all stop the madness?!? Food is the fuel your body and BRAIN need to survive and work optimally. Placing so much emphasis on what to eat and how to eat, is degrading, dehumanizing and dangerous! Humans have survived for centuries without a Canada Food Guide. As an Expert By Experience, and eating disorders advocate and educator, those “front of package” nutritional info stickers, are beyond unnecessary for ANYONE! The guide can make all the suggestions it wants and until poverty and socioeconomic discrimination are addressed, no one will benefit.

  3. Judith Carolyn Megesi
    July 19, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    We believe the new Canada Food Guide is the future and promotes good health. Do not change it. Stop accepting money from Animal Dairy and Protein interests!!!!

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