What do you think when you saunter into the grocery store to purchase locally-grown produce or meat? It was harvested or raised within a short driving distance of where you live, right? You likely even think the product just might be a bit healthier. Visions of the farm family harvesting the carefully grown crop. Perhaps less pesticides and herbicides, hopefully no GMO.
In fact the rules for Canadian labelling for locally-grown mean that the product is produced within a 50-mile radius of where it is sold.
Or at least it was… but not any more in Canada.
Effective 10 May 2013, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) defines locally-grown as any product produced in the province or territory where it is sold… or within 50 kilometres of its border.
So the local grocery store in Falcon Lake, Manitoba can sell ‘locally-grown’ lettuce (or beef) from a farm in Cornwall, Ontario, over 2,100 kilometres away.
To quote Luc Rivard, the mindless director of the consumer protection division of the CFIA:
“The CFIA recognized the previous policy did not recognize the current industry marketing practices or consumer needs and expectations.”
You got that right, Luc. Let’s change the rules to allow the factory farms and national ‘gross-ery’ chains the opportunity to fool the public yet again. That ‘is’ in keeping with current industry marketing practices.
Lisa McIntosh, co-owner of organic produce delivery company Urban Harvest, says the changes mean consumers need to be even more cautious when shopping for food. Like she says,
“Ask questions. If you can’t see it on the label at the store, ask the produce manager…‘You say it’s local. Where exactly is it from?’ And make your own decision.”
Is it any wonder so few people trust politicians, government officials, and bureaucrats?