Canadian health experts were quick to criticize a pledge made by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on Wednesday.
While speaking to the Dairy Farmers of Saskatoon, Scheer said the process behind creating Health Canada’s new Canadian Food Guide was “flawed” and needs to better reflect what “science tells us.”
— CTV News (@CTVNews) July 19, 2019
The new Food Guide put a focus on eating more plant-based protein, drinking more water while doing away with the traditional food groups.
On Wednesday, Scheer was asked what dairy farmers can expect in terms of food policy in Canada if elected.
“Absolutely, we are going to review that Canada Food Guide,” Scheer said, adding there was a “complete lack of consultation” on the new version.
In 2017, Health Canada reported that food and beverage industry representatives were not consulted while drafting the new Food Guide.
The decision was an effort to ensure the dietary guidance was based on “scientific evidence and free from conflict of interest.”
On Thursday, Dietitians of Canada tweeted that the new guide is most definitely based on science, adding it encourages people to eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods, including dairy.
Canada's new Food Guide is most definitely based on science. It encourages vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods (including dairy). If you have a picky child, a dietitian can help - here is some info to get you started https://t.co/vr2mdtchZE https://t.co/0NY3zFNebE— Dietitians of Canada (@DietitiansCAN) July 18, 2019
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor also issued a statement in response to Scheer that accuses him of “spreading lies” about the guide.
“Health policy should be based on evidence not industry, and meet the needs of all Canadians,” she said.
The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation said Scheer’s comments were not backed up or founded by any scientific data, adding it supports the current direction of Canada’s Food Guide.
During his bid to become Conservative leader, Scheer garnered support from members of the dairy industry that helped him to edge out his main competitor, Maxime Bernier.
With files from the Canadian Press.