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Wednesday, July 09, 2008 

Quebec Margarine War Ends!

"It's over."
Jean Vigneault
Quebec dairy producers federation

The Province of Quebec has finally moved to end a ban on producing and selling margarine that is the same yellow colour of butter.

After decades of debate, margarine sold in Quebec may now be coloured to look like real butter, something the rest of Canada enjoys.

At one time, a number of Canadian provinces had similar laws that they believed protected dairy farmers. Saskatchewan had a similar law to Quebec's but it was abandoned in the 1960's. Quebec, however, has retained the policy until this week.

When margarine first appeared on grocery shelfs, it was considered an inferior product to butter. It was also recognized that the corporate manufactures of margarine had dairy farmers at a disadvantage because of the huge quantities they could produce at a cost much less than actual butter.

Not much of a stigma remains with the use of margarine, but at one time, use of it was considered to be somewhat primitive.

A snippet from an old song by the Irish group, The Clancy Brothers says it all:
Ahem, Ahem,
Me mother has gone to church.
She told me not to play with you
because you're in the dirt.
It isn't because you're dirty,
it isn't because you're clean,
it's because you have the Whooping
Cough and eat margarine.

-Winnipeg Free Press
-The Star

Graphic courtesy Oukosher

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