Bad cheese: Canadian dairy industry faces another setback – UPDATED

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The past few weeks have been difficult for the Canadian dairy industry. In addition to speculation surrounding promised TPP compensation for farmers, the Government recently voted “no” to stopping a foreign protein substitute that’s appearing in dairy products in place of real Canadian milk.

On May 3rd the Trudeau Liberals, including the MP for Pontiac, voted down an opposition motion asking the government to support Canadian dairy by enforcing the rules on what goes into dairy products sold here.

Diafiltered milk is a cheap protein substitute.  Unlike other dairy items, it enters into Canada tariff-free from the United States because it is considered to be an “ingredient”, and not true milk. Once here, the diafiltered substitute can be processed and sold for use in cheese and other dairy products.

Canada has strict standards for dairy – cheese must contain a certain percentage of real milk. Diafiltered milk is not real milk by any means, but it is being used as if it were – and this is being allowed by the Government.

This failure to enforce the rules negatively affects the Canadian economy, particularly in rural areas, as the diafiltered milk substitute finds its way into dairy products in place of real Canadian milk from our farmers.

The motion to address this deficiency was put forth by the NDP, seeking to coax the Liberals into supporting the dairy industry by “immediately enforcing the compositional standards for cheese for all Canadian processors.” The wording of the motion was even negotiable, in order to see it pass.

It’s a rare feat to have the Conservative, NDP, Bloc and Green parties voting on the same page, but all opposition parties unanimously voted to support the Canadian dairy industry.

All Liberal MPs voted against taking action to safeguard an industry that is important to many regions, including this one.

It’s extremely disappointing that Pontiac’s Liberal MP stood up to vote for his party, instead of standing up to vote for our farmers.


Sources on voting results:

Read up on diafiltered milks here: