Health Canada Publishes Proposed Front-of-Package Labeling Regulations and Launches Stakeholder Consultation
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
food labels, Canada
  • As previously reported on this blog, Health Canada recently announced revisions to food labeling requirements as a part of the Healthy Eating Strategy for Canada. One of the key initiatives under the Strategy is Front-of-Package (FOP) labeling for foods that are high in nutrients designated by the agency as being of public health concern: saturated fat, sugars, and sodium. Health Canada intends the FOP labeling to provide quick and easy guidance to consumers in order to make informed choices about their food.

  • On February 10, 2018, Health Canada published proposed Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Food and Drugs Act (Nutrition Symbols, Other Labelling Provisions, Partially Hydrogenated Oils and Vitamin D). The regulations detail the FOP nutrition symbol requirement. The label of prepackaged products that meet or exceed prescribed thresholds for sodium, sugars, and/or saturated fat would be required to carry a nutrition symbol on the principal display panel (PDP) to indicate that the food is high in one or more of the nutrients. Health Canada has drafted four FOP nutrition symbol options.

  • The triggering threshold for the general population would be 15% of the Daily Value (DV) for each nutrient of concern, based on the reference amount for the food or the serving of stated size that appears in the Nutrition Facts Table (NFT), whichever is greater; for foods with a reference amount less than 50g, the threshold would be based on 50g of the food when it provides at least 5% of the DV of the nutrient of concern per reference amount or serving of stated size, whichever is greater.

  • The proposed regulations also provide information regarding applicable exemptions from the required labeling, formatting and location of the symbol, as well as use of other voluntary nutrition and health-related statements, claims, or symbols.

  • The proposed regulation would end the requirement for front-of-pack disclosure of the use of certain sweeteners.

  • Health Canada launched a FOP labeling consultation, which runs from February 10 to April 26, 2018, and asks for stakeholder feedback on the proposed FOP labeling.

  • Health Canada will host a one-hour webinar on March 1, 2018 to provide a technical overview on the proposed regulations.


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