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Forward Regulatory Plan: 2019-2021
Amendments to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and Food and Drug Regulations (food labelling modernization)

Description of the objective

The objective of the food labelling modernization regulatory initiative is to develop a more modern food labelling system that responds to current and future challenges in the area of food labelling, for all foods including: imported, domestic, retail; consumer packaged or bulk, and food for further manufacturing. This proposal would amend labelling requirements in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and Food and Drugs Regulations in key areas, such as, date marking, food company information, and origin of imported food. It aims to clarify language, promote consistency across commodities, harmonize where appropriate and improve outdated labelling regulations.

These amendments are intended to protect consumers from deception and enable informed purchasing decisions, allow industry innovation and leverage modern regulatory tools such as incorporation by reference.

Enabling acts

Safe Food for Canadians Act and Food and Drugs Act

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

There would be business impacts. The affected stakeholders include the food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and consumers.The "One-for-One" Rule and the Small Business Lens would apply. The CFIA is currently conducting analysis on the impact of the proposed changes.

There are not expected to be significant impacts on international trade or investment.

CFIA would provide transitional provisions to assist industry readiness.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic, international)

The proposed regulatory amendments would more closely align with standards and guidelines established by international standard setting bodies such as Codex Alimentarius. Provisions established by major trading partners (for example, the United States Australia, and European Union) are also being reviewed to inform the regulatory development process.

Public consultation opportunities

It is anticipated these proposed amendments will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I in spring 2019. A public comment period will be available for Canadians and other interested parties to provide feedback on the regulatory proposal.

Phase 1 consultations took place in 2013 to 2014. As part of this phase, the CFIA engaged Canadians to identify issues with the current food labelling system in those areas that fall under the CFIA mandate. In 2015, during Phase 2 consultations, CFIA proposed options to modernize the system and released a "What we Heard Report" from these consultations. In 2016 to 2017, CFIA conducted Phase 3 consultations to seek feedback on key regulatory proposals developed as a result of Phase 2 consultations. Canada provided notification of this draft initiative to the World Trade Organization in early 2017 during the third phase of Food Labelling Mondernization engagement. Comments received are being considered. A "What we heard report" for this final phase of consultation was published in early 2018. Webinars and face to face meetings were carried out during all phases of engagement. Additional details are available on CFIA's Food Labelling Modernization web page.

Further information

These proposed regulatory amendments were pre-published on June 22, 2019 in the Canada Gazette, Part I with a 75-day public consultation period.

Departmental contact

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the FRP

This initiative was first included in the 2017 to 2019 update.

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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