A coalition of prominent animal protection groups is urging Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to grant an immediate exemption to Field Roast Grain Meat Company to allow it to continue to sell its products in Canada. Further, the groups are urging Health Minister Rona Ambrose and CFIA President Dr. Bruce Archibald to work to reform the out-dated regulations that have caused the temporary halt in shipments.The company is the target of an archaic and unnecessary labelling provision and was forced to stop shipping its products to Canada effective immediately.
The animal protection groups sent a letter to Minister Ambrose and Dr. Archibald urging both to seek a fast and sensible resolution to this issue. An excerpt from the letter stated:
“Canadians are increasingly choosing to replace animal protein in their diets with healthy vegetarian protein alternatives as an ethical, environmental or health conscious personal choice… These products have not been recalled; Health Canada can therefore have no doubts as to their safety. Rather than targeting companies making quality products that Canadians enjoy, we encourage Health Canada and the CFIA to take immediate steps to review these criteria and revise these regulations to come into line with the tastes of consumers in the 21st century.”
David Lee, owner of Field Roast stated: “Field Roast is proud of the products that we offer and the natural, healthy ingredients that we use. The support that we have received from our customers in Canada over the past few weeks has been absolutely overwhelming. We are determined to find a resolution to ensure that our products are back on shelves as soon as possible.”
Animal Alliance of Canada, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund, Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals, Humane Society International/Canada, Mercy for Animals Canada, Montreal SPCA, and Vancouver Humane Society signed the letter to Minister Ambrose and Dr. Archibald.
• To be compliant with current regulations, Field Roast would need to chemically fortify its products and mimic the nutritional profile of animal meats, both principles that the company is ethically opposed to.
• Field Roast Grain Meat Company was founded by Seattle-based chef David Lee in 1997 and has been selling grain meat products in the United States since then.
• Field Roast has also been informed by CFIA that they must label their products as “simulated meat products”, despite the fact that Field Roast products are not formulated to simulate any type of animal meat.
• Humane Society International/Canada, the Montreal SPCA, Vancouver Humane Society and others have long been calling on the government to implement a common sense method of production labels on animal products, e.g. labelling eggs from battery cages as “cage eggs.” CFIA has yet to implement any such program. For more information visit http://foodtips.ca/.