Canada: Health Canada Pushes Forward With Nutrition Labelling Changes

On June 13, 2015, the Government of Canada published proposed amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) that, if adopted, would significantly change key elements of the nutrition labelling of food products. The most notable amendments include changes to standardize serving sizes, amend the nutrients listed in the nutrition facts table, modify the way sugars are listed, and allow for greater health claims for fruits and vegetables. The proposed amendments' release follows consultations with stakeholders held by Health Canada in 2014. For more information about the prior consultations, see our August 2014 Blakes Bulletin: Coming to a Grocery Store near You: Proposed Changes to Canadian Nutrition Labelling Requirements.

Health Canada's stated objectives for the amendments include modernizing food labelling to reflect the latest science in order to enable Canadians to make more informed choices about their food, and to align, where possible, with international initiatives including potential amendments to nutritional labelling proposed in the United States.


  • Standardize serving sizes by better aligning them with the amount of food that is typically consumed in one sitting, which will enable consumers to more easily compare the nutrient content of various products. The serving size is used to calculate the nutritional content of the nutrients listed on the nutrition facts table (NFT) of food labels and is currently calculated using guidelines rather than regulations.
  • Change the "core" nutrients required to be listed on the NFT. In particular, the new NFTs would require the declaration of potassium, since this is a nutrient some Canadians are not getting enough of, and vitamins A and C would no longer be required in the NFT.
  • Change the recommended daily values (DV) for the core nutrients as well as the voluntary non-core nutrients to reflect more recent dietary recommendations. Furthermore, the amendments would reflect the distinct nutritional needs of infants and toddlers by setting different daily values for infants (seven to 12 months old), toddlers (one to three years old) and adults (four years and older). In addition, a "rule of thumb" footnote would be added to the bottom of each NFT to educate consumers about the meaning of per cent DV in their dietary choices. The footnote would read: "5% or less is a little, 15% or more is a lot."
  • Require a per cent DV for sugar to be declared on each NFT and require sugars-based ingredients to be grouped together in the ingredients list. A daily value of 100 grams is being proposed for sugar. The requirement to group all sugars-based ingredients in the ingredient list would mean that where a product has multiple sugars-based ingredients, such as honey, glucose-fructose and fancy molasses, such ingredients will appear closer to the top of the ingredients list, which will more clearly indicate the product's relative proportion of sugars-based ingredients. Interestingly, Health Canada has chosen not to move forward with a declaration of the amount of "added sugars" as a line in the NFT separate from total sugars. The "added sugars" declaration has been proposed in the U.S., but was dropped from the Canadian amendments following the earlier consultation stage. The U.S. proposals do not, however, include a per cent DV for sugars.
  • Standardize the formatting and contrast of the ingredients list to ensure consistency. The amendments would require the usage of both uppercase and lowercase letters, bullets to separate individual ingredients, a good contrast of colour (black text on white or other uniform, neutral colour background), and a border around the list or one or more lines above, below or at the sides of the list. The amendments would also require the title of "Ingredients" at the top of the list. The manner of indicating an ingredient's components would also be standardized.
  • Change the requirements for labelling of allergens, including requiring the "Contains" statement, which declares mandatory allergens, to follow directly after the ingredients list and follow the same font formatting requirements. If manufacturers choose to make non-mandatory, precautionary declarations of potential allergens, these statements would also need to appear in the same font size as the ingredient list and directly below either the ingredient list or the mandatory allergen declaration, as applicable.
  • Allow for greater health claims for fruits and vegetables. The claim, "A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of heart disease" would be allowed on most fruits and vegetables. The proposed amendments would also allow nutrient content and health claims to be made for pre-packaged fresh fruits or vegetables without a nutrition facts table being required, as it is under the current regulations.
  • Require that all food colours be declared by their common name in the list of ingredients (e.g. "Citrus Red No. 2" rather than just "colours" as is currently permitted) and allow for the application of internationally recognized food-grade specifications for food colours.


The federal government has proposed a five-year coming-into-force period, in order to allow sufficient time for industry to make all of the necessary changes to their labels, including determining new DV and whether the new values will change the claims that manufacturers can make about their food products, and to use any existing stocks of labels.

The proposed amendments are open for comments until August 27, 2015, during which period interested parties may make submissions concerning the proposed regulations. Parties interested in making submissions may find detailed information and the proposed regulatory text here.

These labelling changes are just one of a number of initiatives that the federal government is undertaking on the food regulatory front, including initiatives in relation to the new Safe Foods for Canadians Act. For more information on some of these initiatives, see our August 2013 Blakes Bulletin: Changes to Food Safety Legislation in Canada.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
23 Nov 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Cybersecurity, including data privacy and security obligations, has become a critical chapter in every company’s risk management playbook.

28 Nov 2018, Speaking Engagement, Toronto, Canada

Arbitration has a number of advantages and some disadvantages for the resolution of domestic and international commercial disputes.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions