Regulations amending the Food and Drug Regulations, Part B, Division 2 (Beer Standard and Ale, Stout, Porter or Malt Liquor Standard)

Title or Working Title of the Regulatory Initiative

Regulations amending the Food and Drug Regulations, Part B, Division 2 (Beer Standard and Ale, Stout, Porter or Malt Liquor Standard)

Description of the Objective

These proposed amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations would redefine the standard for "beer" to reflect innovation and market developments in brewing. The amendment would update the compositional standard to better define the term "carbohydrate matter", by adding a maximum percentage of residual sugar, by removing food additives and processing aids and allowing the use of flavouring ingredients.

The proposed changes to the beer compositional standard allow for the introduction of ingredients not previously permitted in the manufacturing of standardized beer which could include allergens. As such, it is proposed the risks associated with these allergens be addressed through the amendment of the Food and Drug Regulations to protect the health and safety of the consumer and to enable informed consumer decisions.

The proposed amendments would also repeal the standard for Ale, Stout, Porter or Malt Liquor. The resulting standard would outline the requirements a product must meet in order to be labelled, packaged, sold, or advertised as beer in Canada. There are a number of beer styles that would benefit from the modern beer standard. For example, it would allow beers with spices, fruits and other traditional ingredients used in the brewing process to freely market the style of their beer, while still using the common name "beer" on the label, thereby maintaining its status as a standardized beverage alcohol product.

Enabling Act

Food and Drugs Act

Indication of Business Impacts

There may be business impacts. The "One-for-One" Rule and the Small Business Lens may apply.

Public Consultation Opportunities

It is anticipated these proposed amendments will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I in Spring 2018. A public comment period of 75 days will be available for Canadians and other interested parties to provide feedback on the regulatory proposal.

In Fall 2014, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducted an online public consultation and received 185 completed questionnaires, from brewers of all sizes, provincial liquor boards and governments, consumers and others. During this same time period, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducted outreach activities to inform stakeholders of the proposal by contacting more than 475 stakeholders, heard from small brewers at the Craft Brewers of Ontario conference, presented the proposal at the conference of l'Association des Microbrasseurs du Québec, held conference calls with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Canadian Association of Liquor Jurisdictions, and met on two occasions with Beer Canada's Product Quality Committee and several times with Beer Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also sent a WTO Notification to international trading partners. Beer Canada is a voluntary trade association of 28 brewers from coast to coast representing 90% of the volume of beer brewed in Canada.

A Notice of Intent to amend the Food and Drug Regulations to update the beer compositional standards was published in Canada Gazette, Part I on June 17, 2017. A public comment period of 60 days was available for Canadians and other interested parties to provide feedback on the proposal.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering the feedback received from these consultations in preparing the proposed amendment for pre-publication.

Departmental Contact

Legislation@inspection.gc.ca

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

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