Update on the 2016 nutrition labelling regulations
On December 14th 2016, Health Canada published amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations regarding nutrition fact tables and ingredient listings. This came as a part of Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy initiative to help consumer’s make informed choices.
A five-year transition period, ending on December 14, 2021, was provided to allow sufficient time for the industry to make the necessary changes to their labels. Flexibility will be provided to stakeholders and industry groups who will struggle to meet these deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will focus efforts on regulatory education and compliance promotion during the first year of the new amendment period (until December 14, 2022). Afterwards, CFIA will verify compliance and apply enforcement discretion in cases where non-compliant companies have detailed plans showing intent to meet the new requirements. You can find more detail at CFIA guidance.
Moving forward, Health Canada and the CFIA, with the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, will establish a predictable cycle to align future food label changes. The effective date of the newly proposed food labelling policy and regulation is January 1st, 2026.
An open consultation period for these policy changes has officially launched, and is open from February 2nd – April 3rd, 2021. You can find more information at Joint Policy Statement on Food Labelling Coordination.
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