Health Canada has proposed nutrition labeling changes as part of an ongoing effort to make food and beverage labels easier for consumers to read. Based on a public consultation, the conclusions of Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Food Labelling Modernization Initiative and a technical review of current labels, the amendments would revise the Nutrition Facts table, ingredient list and suggested Daily Values to take into account “the most up to date scientific information and consumption habits.”
In particular, the proposed changes would (i) adjust serving sizes to reflect “the amounts of food that Canadians actually eat in one sitting,” (ii) update the Daily Values and nutrients displayed in the Nutrition Facts table; (iii) refresh the appearance of the Nutrition Facts table and ingredient list to emphasize calories, added sugars and other nutrients of concern to Canadian consumers, and (iv) create “an optional information box highlighting the presence of certain bioactive components, such as caffeine.”
Health Canada has also recommended grouping together “all sugar-based ingredients added directly to a food,” so that ingredient lists would place each individual sugar type (e.g., “sugar, glucose-fructose, honey, fancy molasses”) in parentheses after the common name “Sugars.” In addition, the Nutrition Facts table would highlight the amount of added sugar as well as establish a Daily Value for total sugar consumption at 100 grams.
“These changes will make it easier to read and understand labels and help Canadians make healthy food choices. Over the coming months, we’ll be conducting face-to-face and online consultations to gather information about what Canadians think about the new proposed food labels,” said Minister of Health Rona Ambrose in a July 14, 2014, statement. The agency will accept comments on the proposal until September 11, 2014.