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Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021 to 2023
Amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (creating an agile framework for compositional standards)

Description of the objective

The way in which the current food compositional standards are structured under the Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) is not responsive to changes in technology or consumer demand. This can prevent or slow industry innovation.

CFIA proposes to address this issue by using incorporation by reference to allow food compositional standards to be maintained and updated in a transparent, timely and efficient manner.

The incorporation by reference of FDR food standards was included in the three phases of the Food Labelling Modernization consultations in 2013, 2014 and 2016 to 2017. This also included a notification to the World Trade Organization.

This amendment is being developed in collaboration with Health Canada and is intended to use modern regulatory tools to help foster industry innovation while also protecting consumers from deception and enabling more informed purchasing decisions.

Enabling act

Food and Drugs Act

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

There will be no immediate impact on Canadians since this regulatory amendment will not result in a change to the compositional standards. However, the amendment will result in a more agile regulatory structure that will allow the CFIA to respond to industry and consumer requests for change in a more efficient manner.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic, international)

This regulatory amendment will contribute to domestic and international cooperation efforts by facilitating subsequent alignment of Canada's compositional standards with international standard setting bodies and major trading partners.

Public consultation opportunities

It is anticipated that this regulatory amendment will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I in fall 2021. A public comment period will be available for Canadians and other interested parties to provide feedback on the regulatory proposal.

Departmental contact

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the FRP

This initiative was first included in the 2013 to 2018 update as part of the Food Labelling Modernization initiative but was removed in 2019. This initiative was included as a separate initiative in CFIA's 2020 to 2022 update and is proceeding in sync with Health Canada's "Modernize food regulations to enable innovative and safe foods for Canadians" initiative.

For more information

Consult CFIA's acts and regulations web page for:

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:

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