Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Experts say that a new directive issued in response to the controversy known as “buttergate” could make it hard for dairy farmers to keep up with consumer demand for the staple ingredient.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Johnston

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Experts say that a new directive issued in response to the controversy known as “buttergate” could make it hard for dairy farmers to keep up with consumer demand for the staple ingredient.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Johnston

Directive based on ‘buttergate’ claims could cost dairy farmers, say experts

Animal science experts say there’s no feed supplement that’s as efficient or economical as palmitic acid

Experts say that a new directive issued in response to the controversy known as “buttergate” could make it hard for dairy farmers to keep up with consumer demand for the staple ingredient.

Dairy Farmers of Canada is encouraging its members to find alternatives to palm supplements in cattle feed as a working group looks into consumer concerns that butter has become harder.

The recommendation comes after media reports linked the purported change in consistency to the common practice of bolstering cows’ diets with palm byproducts, which federal authorities have approved as a safe ingredient in livestock feeds.

Animal science experts say there’s no feed supplement that’s as efficient or economical as palmitic acid, and warn that ruling it out could come at a cost to dairy producers and lead to an increase in butter imports.

While some dairy farmers are looking into alternative feed supplements, others say they’re sticking with palmitic acid because it’s best for their cattle and their bottom lines.

Daniel Lefebvre of Lactanet, which advises Dairy Farmers of Canada, says while buttergate is based on “unfounded claims,” a turn in public perception poses a greater threat to the dairy industry than asking farmers to eliminate a safe and effective method to maximize production.

READ MORE: Supply management key to survival of B.C. dairy industry, says Okanagan farmer

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Dairy Farmers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Revelstoke Women's Shelter Society has released an educational video about unhealthy relationships. (Contributed)
Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society educates on healthy relationships with new video

April 11-17 is Prevention of Violence Against Women Week

A 46-year-old man from Armstrong died in Revelstoke hospital after being injured in the Lumby area. (File photo)
Armstrong snowmobiler dies in Revelstoke hospital

46-year-old man injured in Tsuius Mountain area of Monashees around Lumby area

Guy Barber in front of his jewellery store at 208 Mackenzie Avenue, circa 1915. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 272)
Glimspes of Revelstoke’s past for April 8

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the time

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
LETTER: Finding Common Ground Through COVID-19

‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’

Alchemy Studio received a ticked from the RCMP on Thursday, April 8, for staying open despite provincial restrictions ordering yoga studios be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

Most Read