Francesca VIncenzi | Mérieux NutriSciences Italy

NEW FOOD LABELLING LAWS IN CANADA FROM 2021

Changes in the ingredients list and the nutritional table

Changes in the ingredients list and the nutritional table

The 5-year transitional period foreseen by the Canadian Ministry of Health for the
application of the amendments to the Food And Drugs Regulations will end in December
2021.

Together with the new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations of 2018, these
amendments –published on December 14, 2016– are intended to make the nutritional
table and ingredient list on prepackaged food labels easier to understand for Canadian
consumers.

The main changes to the list of ingredients and the indication of allergens include:

  • the grouping of the sugar-based ingredients in brackets, after the word “sugars / sucres”;
  • the list of colors, with indication of the specific name and not only of the category;
  • detailed graphic rules concerning fonts, the background, the use of upper and lower 
    case letters, the minimum heights, the use of bold letters, etc.

As far as the nutritional table is concerned, the main changes are:

  • the indication of food portions, clearer and similar for similar products;
  • updating of the reference values ​​for nutrients, with the inclusion of the Daily Values ​​for
    total sugars;
  • the new list of micronutrients to be declared, with the addition of potassium and the
    elimination of vitamins A and C;
  • very detailed graphic standards for the table model to be used on the label.

It is proposed to extend the transitional period until December 14, 2022 as part of the final
publication of regulatory changes under the Food Labeling Modernization initiative
scheduled for summer 2020. As part of this initiative, the Canadian authorities are
evaluating a further change that includes the requirement of frontal nutritional labeling
(FoP) for products that reach certain limits of sugar, saturated fat and sodium.

Canadian importers have started to request their suppliers to use food labels that already
comply with the new regulations. To this purpose, it must be taken into account that it is
not possible to carry out a label update in stages (a partial adjustment will not be possible
only for the table or only for the ingredient lists), but the changes must be made at once
and the label must fully comply with the new regulation.

Do you want to know more about the new Canadian labeling rules? Let us know by
writing to regulatory.services@mxns.com.

Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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