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Canadians need help fighting food inflation

The Dairy Farmers of Canada, one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country, requested another mid-year increase owing to “exceptional circumstances,” without telling us where the data is coming from.

To add insult to injury, the commission’s decision to raise milk prices was made by a federal public body operating for several months without a full complement on its board. The board only has two members, and both are in dairy farming.

Conflicts of interest are rampant at the commission, just as in politics and academia. Many Canadian university scholars aren’t just researchers – they’re essentially advocates for their funding agencies representing the dairy industry. The dairy boards have power and influence beyond belief. If only Canadians realized.

The fact Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Dairy Commission work as one is deeply disturbing. Canadian consumers need to be heard.

Many Canadians would empathize with dairy farmers – who face higher production costs – if only the commission would share more data.

The lack of disclosure is very much about asking Canadians to support an inefficient dairy sector more than properly compensating farmers. And by fall, this new increase will price the dairy section at the grocery store out of the market for many consumers.

Ultimately, we stand to lose many more dairy farms as their sales decline.

The federal government is also coming forward with new labelling rules for saturated fats, sodium and sugar. Health Canada’s front-of-package labelling was long overdue, and it will make our food healthier. But the new policy also aims at a key single-ingredient product that many Canadians enjoy: ground meat.

Ground beef and pork are among the most affordable sources of animal protein we have. Based on the plans we’ve seen, only extra-lean ground meats are exempt from the new labelling. If this goes ahead, grocers will stop carrying more affordable ground meat, making the meat counter even more expensive. It’s just ridiculous.

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