Statement made on 25 April 2012 by Senator Robert Peterson (retired)
Hon. Robert W. Peterson:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, I asked the leader why this government is putting the safety of Canadians at risk by ending food labelling regulations. She answered that they have taken "rigorous steps" and have "vastly improved the safety of Canadians." I have an article from Postmedia News, April 20, 2012, that directly contradicts her claim.
This article cites internal government tests done by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that show that some of the country's biggest food brands in some cases drastically understated the levels of harmful nutrients while grossly overstating the levels of healthy nutrients. Of over 600 products tested, more than half did not live up to the nutritional information on the packaging. Some were even off by as much as 90 per cent. In one case, a product stated that it contained 30 per cent of one's daily iron serving, when in reality it was found to contain only 2.7 per cent. In another case, a product claimed to contain 5 calories per portion but actually contained 106 calories per portion.
Consumers already wonder whether they can rely on the nutritional information on food labels for their safety, and it is a service her government wants to cut further. I ask again, will the Leader of the Government finally acknowledge that cutting funding for food labelling regulations is a danger to Canadian families and a shameful way to save a few bucks?
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