Health Canada’s Consultation Process for Proposed Food Labelling Changes
In response to a consultation process conducted by the Minister of Health from January-April 2014, a What We Heard report - reflecting the feedback received from these consultations and those of Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Food Labelling Modernization Initiative - was published in June, 2014. This report included many ideas on how to improve food labelling to help find, understand and better use the information.
Health Canada has taking this feedback, and in combination with a technical review of potential updates to various aspects of the food label to develop proposed nutrition labelling changes. A series of consultation documents that provide detailed information on these proposed changes have been developed, and the proposed changes as highlighted in these documents are open for feedback by consumers, producers and processors, and all stakeholders from July 14, 2014 to September 11, 2014. As part of its Food Labelling Modernization Initiative, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be further consulting in the future on additional labelling changes that are under the Agency’s purview.
Health Canada is proposing several changes through this process, as well as feedback from Canadian parents and consumers during the previous consultations. Specifically:
- New guidelines to help make serving sizes declared in the Nutrition Facts table more consistent among similar food products. These serving sizes would be based on the most current information on the amounts of food that Canadians actually eat in one sitting, also known as reference amounts.
- Changes to the list of nutrients that must be declared in the Nutrition Facts table, and updates to the Daily Values to reflect the most recent dietary recommendations. Health Canada is also proposing to change the way the sugars content of food is presented on the label.
- Of particular interest to Canadian consumers are the changes proposed to the appearance of the Nutrition Facts table and the list of ingredients, and the proposal to create an optional information box highlighting the presence of certain bioactive components, such as caffeine.
The BCFPA would like to encourage all of our members who may be impacted by these proposed changes to share their thoughts and feedback with Health Canada during this consultation process. It’s important that Health Canada understands not only the consumers’ perspective, but also the potential impact to processors. To find out more information, including details of these proposed changes, please click here.
To participate in Health Canada’s online survey, please click here.
If you have any questions, please contact us at the BCFPA at 604.504.4409.
James Donaldson, CEO
BC Food Processors Association