A proposed amendment to food and drug regulations to permit the sale of irradiated fresh and frozen ground beef in Canada is being opposed by the National Farmers Union.
Health Canada has been accepting public comments on it’s regulatory proposal and the NFU submitted a brief.
In it’s submission to Health Canada, the NFU points out that Canada’s beef packing industry is dominated by two companies that slaughter over 90 per-cent of federally inspected beef in the country, JBS and
The NFU says JBS and Cargill would have the capacity to spread the cost of expensive irradiation equipment over their high volume of sales, and therefore be able to undercut smaller companies and ultimately
drive them out of business.
The NFU says reducing choices makes it easier for the two dominant meat companies to pay beef producers less for their animals and to charge higher prices to retailers and consumers.
Since ground beef irradiation is already allowed in the U.S., the NFU is also worried the new regulation would result in more imported U.S. beef, at the expense of Canadian meat packers.