Consultation on front-of-package nutrition labelling

From Health Canada

Current status:

The public consultation is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Why

Health Canada is proposing mandatory front-of-package labelling for foods high in nutrients that are a public health concern. These nutrients are:

  • sugars
  • sodium
  • saturated fat

Frequently eating foods high in these nutrients can lead to increased health risks, such as:

  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure

We're also proposing to update other front-of-package components, including certain label claims and sweetener information.

Who

We're seeking input from all interested Canadians, including:

  • consumers who are interested in healthy eating
  • industry members and associated organizations
  • health professionals and associated organizations
  • all levels of government
  • academics and researchers
  • non-government organizations

What

We would like to get input on:

  • warnings for foods high in sodium, sugars and/or saturated fat
  • updates to nutrient content claims and other nutrition-related statements
  • nutrient levels (thresholds) used to identify if a product is high in sodium, sugars and/or saturated fat
  • foods containing sweeteners

What does this mean for Canadians?

For Canadians, mandatory front-of-package labelling for foods high in sodium, sugars and/or saturated fat could:

  • provide quick and easy guidance to help you make informed choices about packaged foods

What does this mean for industry?

For industry, mandatory front-of-package labelling for foods high in sodium, sugars and/or saturated fat could mean:

  • encouraging the availability of more food products in the marketplace that are lower in these nutrients of concern through reformulation
  • changes to food labels to include the front-of-package symbol

The implementation of the proposed front-of-package labelling would align with updates currently underway to the:

  • list of ingredients
  • nutrition facts table

This will minimize the number of times label changes are needed.

What does this mean for health professionals?

For health professionals, mandatory front-of-package labelling for foods high in sodium, sugars and/or saturated fat could mean:

  • new labels to help educate consumers
  • potentially improved nutritional quality of packaged foods available in the marketplace

When and where

This consultation is available online between November 14, 2016, and January 13, 2017.

We plan to have further consultations in June 2017.

How to participate

The consultation document gives you information on the background and measures being considered.

You may submit your comments:

  • online using the web form
  • by email in electronic files such as:
    • Microsoft Word
    • Adobe Acrobat
  • by mail
  • by fax

We will review and consider all comments received by January 13, 2017.

A new approach to communication with stakeholders

The Government of Canada is committed to openness and transparency. Health Canada will support this commitment by:

  • making more information available to Canadians
  • providing more opportunities to participate in discussions on government policies and priorities

Formal written submissions in response to this consultation will continue to be summarized in a report that will be made publicly available. These may include a:

  • Summary of Comments
  • What We Heard report

However, ‎the individual submissions may be released upon request under the Access to Information Act.

All other correspondence and all meetings with stakeholders will be published monthly online in list format, including the:

  • organization name
  • date
  • subjects
  • purpose of the meeting
  • title of any documents provided during meetings

This includes correspondence and meetings related to healthy eating initiatives in which opinions, information, and requests for information are communicated to inform the development of:

  • policies
  • guidance
  • regulations ‎

Related information

Contact us

Attention: Front-of-package labelling consultation
Health Canada
Bureau of Nutritional Sciences
Health Products and Food Branch
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Mail stop 2203E
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

Email: Nut.Labelling-Etiquetage@hc-sc.gc.ca (Attention: Front-of-package labelling consultation)

Fax: 613-941-6636 (Attention: Front-of-package labelling consultation)

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