Amendments to 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

Amendments to 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 compositional standard for "beer" to better reflect innovation and market developments in brewing. The resulting beer standard will continue to outline the requirements a product must meet in order to be labelled, packaged, sold, or advertised as beer in Canada.

The proposed amendments would include: further clarifying the term "carbohydrate matter", adding a maximum percentage of residual sugar, removing permitted food additives and processing aids and allowing the use of flavouring ingredients.

There are a number of beer styles that would benefit from a modern beer standard. For example, it would allow beers with spices, fruits and other ingredients used in the brewing process to use the common name "beer" on the label, thereby maintaining its status as a standardized alcoholic beverage. The proposed amendments would also repeal the standard for Ale, Stout, Porter or Malt Liquor.

Standardized beer is currently exempt from the labelling requirements set out in the Food and Drugs Regulations for allergens, gluten and added sulphite. The proposed amendments would allow the use of ingredients not previously permitted in the manufacturing of standardized beer, which could include allergens. To address these risks, the proposal would repeal the labelling exemption in the current Food and Drug Regulations. This would contribute to improved consumer health and safety, and enable informed consumer choice.

Enabling Act

Food and Drugs Act

Indication of Business Impacts

There may be business impacts. The CFIA is currently conducting analysis on the impacts of the proposed changes to the Food and Drugs Regulations to modernize the beer compositional standard, reduce duplication, clarify existing requirements, reflect market developments, and allow for innovation in brewing. 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 a public consultation which generated comments from brewers of all sizes, provincial liquor boards provincial governments, and consumers.

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 CFIA conducted outreach activities with key stakeholders throughout the process of the development of the modernized beer standard.

Canada also submitted notifications to the World Trade Organization to provide international trading partners with an opportunity to submit feedback during the 2014 and 2017 consultations.

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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