Health Canada proposes new labelling laws

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Related tags: Nutrition

Canada will soon be adopting American-style "nutrition facts"
labels on all prepackaged foods.According to a new proposal
from

Canada will soon be adopting American-style "nutrition facts" labels on all prepackaged foods.According to a new proposal from,Health Canada​ , a federal government department in Canada, nutrition labels will be mandatory on all foods by 2003 with exceptions: fresh fruits and vegetables, self-serve bulk foods, foods that are packaged and prepared at retail, and foods - such as coffee - that have insignificant levels of the 13 key nutrients: fat, saturated fat, transfat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fibre, sugar, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. The new label will be a boxed-in chart with the heading "Nutrition Facts". The layout, fonts and type size will be standardised to ensure that consumers can read, understand and compare nutritional labels. The serving size and calories will be prominently disclosed, followed by core information on the 13 key nutrients listed above. For each nutrient, thequantity per serving and the percentage of the recommended daily intake will be set out. Manufacturers can elect to include information on several other nutrients including starch, soluble fibre, insoluble fibre, polyunsaturated fat,mono-unsaturated fat and 21 additional vitamins and minerals. This will all be in English and in French. Manufacturers can elect to include information on several other nutrients including starch, soluble fibre, insoluble fibre, polyunsaturated fat,mono-unsaturated fat and 21 additional vitamins and minerals. This will be in English and in French. Health Canada is also proposing to allow some limited health claims for food. The following four claims are proposed: (1) a diet low in saturatedand trans fat reduces the risk of heart disease; (2) a healthy diet with adequate calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis; (3) a diet rich in fruit and vegetablesreduces the risk of some types of cancer; and (4) moderation in sodium intake reduces the risk of high blood pressure. None of these claims isrevolutionary. The nutrition labelling proposal contemplates a two-year phase-in period after regulations are enacted in the next few months.

Related topics: Policy

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