Health Canada

Health Canada

February 18, 2010 11:44 ET

Have Your Say: Health Canada Proposing Improved Labelling Requirements for Food Colours

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2010) - Health Canada is launching a consultation with stakeholders and the Canadian public on proposed changes to improve the labelling requirements for food colours in Canada.

The consultation, which will be posted on the Health Canada website and open for comments from February 18th until May 4th, is intended to seek input on several options for future labelling requirements. 

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations currently allow manufacturers to use the general term "colour" to specify one or more food colours. For the majority of prepackaged foods, manufacturers may voluntarily declare individual colours by name at their own discretion. 

However, there is some evidence suggesting a link between consumption of certain food colours and adverse reactions in sensitive individuals. More recently, certain food colour mixtures have been associated with behavioural effects in children. For these reasons, Health Canada considers it prudent to improve labelling requirements for food colours. 

Health Canada's proposed changes would eliminate the option of using the general term "colour" and require that individual colours be identified on food ingredient labels for many, if not all, colours. By improving food colour labelling requirements, Health Canada's goal is to enable consumers to make more informed choices which could contribute to the reduction of adverse reactions.

Health Canada will continue to update Canadians on the progress of this issue once the consultation period has concluded. Please visit the Health Canada website for more information on the proposal to improve the food colour labelling requirements in Canada (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consultation/init/_feb2010-food-aliments-col/index-eng.php).

In addition, please visit Health Canada's Allergen Labelling Page (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/allergen/index_e.html) for information on another recent Health Canada initiative to improve prepackaged food labels, in particular, labelling requirements for food allergens, gluten sources, and added sulphites.

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