The meat industry is pleased with the government’s decision
By Diego Flammini
Health Canada will not put warning labels on ground beef and pork after all.
Health Minister John-Yves Duclos announced the finalized front-of-package labelling regulations on Thursday, and raw, single ingredient ground meats and poultry are exempt from the labels.
Almost 50 per cent of beef consumed in Canada is ground beef.
Beginning in January 2026, foods containing more than 15 per cent of the daily recommended intake of sodium, sugars or saturated fat will feature a new label in the top right corner of the product.
The ground meat products received the exemption “to avoid giving the impression that they are nutritionally inferior to whole cuts that do not carry a nutrition symbol,” Health Canada says.
Other exempted products include butter, sugar, salt, plain milk and plain yogurt.
Representatives of Canada’s meat sector are pleased with Health Canada’s decision.
“We’re pleased Health Canada is exempting ground pork along with other nutritious foods such as milk, eggs, vegetables, and fruit from a front-of-package label,” Rick Bergmann, chair of the Canadian Pork Council, said in a statement. “Ground pork is a convenient, whole food that contributes essential nutrients many Canadians need more of in their diets.”
Multiple livestock groups, members of the Alberta government and federal critics opposed the labels, saying they wouldn’t address the issue of Canadians eating ultra-processed foods, the labels could cause consumers to question Canadian agriculture, and create trade issues.
This exemption ensures no trade barriers for Canadian ground meat products.
The Canadian Meat Council “is pleased that Health Canada is exempting ground meat like most other countries. This exemption will ensure that our members can continue to export their products without additional challenges, allowing us to keep feeding the world and Canadians with our world-class protein,” said Chris White, the council’s president and CEO.