Method of Production
"Method of production" refers to how a product was produced, grown, handled, manufactured, etc. Claims related to the method of production are subject to sections 5.(1) of the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and 7(1) of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA), which prohibit statements and claims that are false, misleading, deceptive or that create an erroneous impression regarding the product including, in the case of the CPLA, its method of manufacture. In addition, some method of production claims have specific regulatory requirements that apply to them.
Information related to method of production can be found below:
- "Fair Trade" Claims
- Food Irradiation
- Novel Foods including Novel Foods which are Products of Genetic Modification
- Voluntary Labelling and Advertising of Foods That Are and Are Not Products of Genetic Engineering
- Natural Claims
- Natural, Naturally Raised, Feed, Antibiotic and Hormone Claims for Meat, Fish and Poultry Products
"Fair Trade" claims may be made on foods sold in Canada provided that they are not false or misleading and meet the requirements set out in all applicable food legislation, including the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations and the Canada Agricultural Products Act and its respective regulations. In Canada, Fairtrade Canada owns the trademarks for "Fair Trade", "Fair Trade Certified" and "Certifié équitable" and a related design mark.
For further information on using these terms, traders should contact Fairtrade Canada.
Kosher, which means "fit" or "proper", describes foods and practices that are specifically permitted by Jewish dietary laws. Certification that a food is processed in accordance with the requirements of the Kashruth is made by a Rabbi or Rabbinical organization and identified by the appropriate Rabbi or Rabbinical organization symbol.
In the labelling, packaging and advertising of a food, the Food and Drug Regulations prohibit the use of the word "kosher" or any letter of the Hebrew alphabet, or any other word, expression, depiction, sign, symbol, mark, device or other representation that indicates or that is likely to create an impression that the food is kosher, if the food does not meet the requirements of the Kashruth applicable to it [B.01.049, FDR].
The terms "kosher style", "kind of kosher", and other similar terms are considered to create an impression that the food is kosher, and therefore, the food must meet the requirements of the Kashruth in order for these terms to be used. The terms "Jewish-style food" or "Jewish cuisine" are not necessarily considered to create the impression that the food is kosher.
Halal claims may be made on foods permitted under Islamic Law, that have been slaughtered and processed according to Islamic law, provided the claims are truthful and not misleading and meet the requirements set out under all applicable food legislation including the FDA, the CPLA and the Meat Inspection Act.
As defined in the FDR, Novel Foods means,
- a substance, including a microorganism, that does not have a history of safe use as a food;
- a food that has been manufactured, prepared, preserved or packaged by a process that
- has not been previously applied to that food, and
- causes the food to undergo a major change; and
- a food that is derived from a plant, animal or microorganism that has been genetically modified such that
- the plant, animal or microorganism exhibits characteristics that were not previously observed in that plant, animal or microorganism,
- the plant, animal or microorganism no longer exhibits characteristics that were previously observed in that plant, animal or microorganism, or
- one or more characteristics of the plant, animal or microorganism no longer fall within the anticipated range for the plant, animal or microorganism [B.28.001, FDR].
Genetically modify means to change the heritable traits of a plant, animal or microorganism by means of intentional manipulation [B.28.001, FDR].
The FDR require that prior to the sale or advertisement of a novel food, Health Canada be notified with sufficient accompanying information, as outlined in B.28.002(2) of the FDR, to conduct a safety assessment. If Health Canada deems the food to be safe for consumption, a letter of no-objection is issued notifying the petitioner to that effect. Health Canada may require, for those novel foods including products of genetic modification which result in a health or safety change or a significant change in nutrition or composition, to provide a declaration on the label detailing the manner in which the novel food differs from its non-modified counterpart. This statement then becomes mandatory on the novel food.
For additional information including the safety assessment process and regulation of novel foods, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, a list of recent Health Canada approvals of novel foods, and other resources, please visit Health Canada's webpage on Genetically Modified Foods and Other Novel Foods.
In the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) National Standard for Voluntary Labelling and Advertising of Foods That Are and Are Not Products of Genetic Engineering:
"Genetic Engineering" refers to a technique by which the genetic material of an organism is changed in a way that does not occur naturally by multiplication and/or natural recombination.
"Product of Genetic Engineering" refers to food consisting of organisms that have undergone genetic engineering and to food derived from these organisms.
In Canada, voluntary claims on foods that are and are not products of genetic engineering may be made provided such claims are truthful, not misleading or deceptive, and not likely to create an erroneous impression of a food's character, value, composition, merit or safety, and in compliance with all other requirements set out under the Food and Drugs Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and other applicable legislation.
The National Standard for Voluntary Labelling and Advertising of Foods that Are and Are Not Products of Genetic Engineering provides criteria for making voluntary labelling and advertising claims that identify foods sold in Canada that are or are not products of genetic engineering. It includes detailed information including criteria for claims on both single and multi-ingredient foods, verification, and examples of claims. It provides guidance on the appropriate use of the terms such as "genetically engineered" and "product of genetic engineering".
For more information on genetically engineered foods, please see the Labelling of Genetically Engineered Foods in Canada Factsheet.
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