Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021 to 2023
Amendments to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and Food and Drug Regulations (food product innovation)
Description of the objective
The objective of the food product innovation (formerly food labelling modernization) regulatory initiative is to develop a more modern food labelling system that responds to current and future challenges in the area of food labelling for all foods.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CFIA adjusted the initiative by moving forward with provisions that facilitate industry innovation and remove duplicative requirements. This includes:
- Repeal of some standard container sizes
- Incorporation by reference of remaining standard container sizes
- Incorporation by reference of class names
- Updated definition of test market food
- Harmonized and streamlined food commodity-specific labelling requirements
These amendments reflect the feedback received from a broad range of stakeholders through extensive consultations including at pre-publication in 2019 and through 3 rounds of engagement dating back to 2013.
- This initiative is associated with the Regulatory Stock Review Plan and the Targeted Regulatory Review
Other elements of the Food Labelling Modernization initiative that would result in mandatory label changes will be pursued in a future regulatory package.
Other amendments to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) have been included in this regulatory package for publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. These amendments clarify that licensing provisions of the SFCR do not apply to the preparation of food by restaurants and similar enterprises.
Safe Food for Canadians Act and Food and Drugs Act
Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses
In consideration of stakeholder feedback and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, CFIA has adjusted the scope of the initiative and removed labelling amendments presented in Canada Gazette, Part I that would have generated additional costs to the industry, with the exception of food safety related provisions.
The affected stakeholders include the food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and consumers. The "One-for-One" rule and the Small Business Lens would apply. CFIA is currently conducting analysis on the impact of the proposed changes.
It is expected that this initiative will not have significant impacts on international trade or investment.
No impacts to Canadians and food businesses are anticipated as a result of changes to the SFCR that clarify that licensing provisions do not apply to the preparation of food by restaurants and similar enterprises.
Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic, international)
The proposed regulatory amendments related to food product innovation will make it easier to align Canadian requirements with standards and guidelines established by international standard setting bodies such as Codex Alimentarius.
Other SFCR amendments related to licensing requirements for restaurants and similar enterprises are aligned with the original policy intent of the SFCR, which intended to maintain the status quo for those businesses. Therefore, CFIA has not consulted with provincial, territorial, and international trading partners to inform the development of this part of the regulatory proposal.
Public consultation opportunities
The Food Labelling Modernization amendments were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on June 22, 2019. A public comment period of 75 days, which closed on September 4, 2019, was available for Canadians and other interested parties to provide feedback on the regulatory proposal.
- Pre-publication of the Regulations Amending the Safe Food for Canadians in the Canada Gazette, Part I
- Pre-publication of the Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I
A World Trade Organization (WTO) notification was also made, with the same consultation period.
Other SFCR amendments related to licensing requirements for restaurants and similar enterprises are correcting errors identified in the SFCR that are relieving in nature and should result in no costs incurred by any of the relevant stakeholders and therefore do not warrant additional consultation from stakeholders.
It is anticipated that the final amendments will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II in fall 2021.
Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the FRP
This initiative was first included in the 2017 to 2019 update.
For more information
Consult CFIA's acts and regulations web page for:
- a list of acts and regulations administered by CFIA
- further information on CFIA's implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives
Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:
To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:
- Date modified: