Antiquated Canadian government regulations threaten vegan food manufacturer

The Mindful Mavens

The impact of antiquated  government labelling requirements are disproportionately punitive to small manufacturers, discouraging innovation, and favours unhealthy animal-based products.

Lynda Turner, owner and founder of Zengarry Cashew Cheeses. Lynda Turner, owner and founder of Zengarry Cashew Cheeses.

This is highlighted by the Canada Food Inspection Agency’s recent crackdown on a tiny Ontario company specializing in manufacturing vegan, dairy-free cashew “cheeses.” That company, Zengarry Cashew Cheeses, now faces weeks of bureaucratic wrangling that will at best hold up its expansion plans and cost the sole owner thousands of dollars, and at worst could shutter the business.

Zengarry clearly labels its products as “cashew cheese” and “dairy-free”. Zengarry was ordered by CFIA to change its business and product name so that it did not include the protected word “cheese,” claiming that cheese must be made from animal milk, and the term “cashew cheese” would mislead consumers.

Meanwhile, other protected words like “milk” and “butter” are commonly used on labels for “peanut…

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