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Amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations related to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colours

On December 14, 2016, amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations (regulations) came into force. These new requirements will make the labelling information on prepackaged food products more useful and easier to read for Canadians, and also aim to achieve efficiencies by removing the requirement for lot certification of food colours.

Regulated parties have a 5 year transition period, ending on December 14, 2021, to meet the new requirements. However, amendments dealing with food colour specifications and removal of the synthetic colour certification requirement were effective immediately at publication. While the end of the transition period for the amendments will remain December 14, 2021, for the first year (until December 14, 2022), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will focus its efforts on education and compliance promotion. After December 14, 2022, the CFIA will verify compliance and apply enforcement discretion in cases of non-compliance where manufacturers or importers have a detailed plan that shows how they intend to be compliant at the earliest possible time, and no later than December 14, 2023.

Health Canada and CFIA have developed an implementation plan for the transition period that includes 3 phases.

While the regulations were amended by Health Canada, the CFIA is responsible for their enforcement. For all food labelling questions, including those related to the new requirements, the primary resource is the Industry Labelling Tool. Any additional questions may be directed to a CFIA local office.

To order a copy of The Compendium of Templates for Nutrition Facts Tables and List of Ingredients, which was updated to reflect the new regulatory requirements, please visit the Health Canada website.

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