Health Canada Proposed Labeling Regulations

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Health Canada Proposed Labeling Regulations

There’s been a lot of hullaballoo about the labeling modifications here in the U.S., but things are also changing up north. That’s right; Health Canada is also considering an overhaul of its food label.

Health Canada recently reviewed the food label and has proposed a variety of changes to the format of the nutrition facts panel and to the nutrient declarations therein.
The two most significant format changes are:

  1. A more prominent display of Calories
  2. A revised grouping of nutrients into two sections (those to limit and those to get enough of).

Prominent Display of Calories

Enlarging the calorie values will make them easier to read and, Health Canada hopes, will help consumers make better decisions. This echoes one of the proposed U.S. label changes and, in fact, the new Canada label is starting to resemble the U.S. label.

Grouping of Nutrients

Grouping the nutrients into “limit these” and “eat enough of these” should allow consumers to quickly evaluate the food item and make more informed, healthier decisions, Health Canada says.
The nutrients to limit include: fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugars, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Nutrients to eat enough of will likely include: fiber, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin D.

Additional Changes

Health Canada is also looking into changing how sugars are declared, by adding a %DV (Percent Daily Value) for total sugar, and including added sugars in the list of declared nutrients.
Other proposed changes include adding an explanatory footnote, declaring amounts by weight of vitamins and minerals, and providing guidelines to make serving sizes more consistent among similar products.

UPDATE: In December 2016, Health Canada has finalized changes to the Nutrition Facts table and list of ingredients on packaged foods.