Health Canada has released a number of documents this year, including the following:

  • Guidance for the Food Industry on Reducing Sodium in Processed Foods. The Guidance document lists acceptable salt-related nutrient content claims, discusses comparative claims related to sodium, and refers to some health claims related to sodium. A copy of the Guidance document is available here.
  • Summary of Health Canada’s Assessment of a Health Claim about the Replacement of Saturated Fat with Mono- and Polyunsaturated Fat and Blood Cholesterol Lowering. The Summary includes wording and conditions for therapeutic health claims about unsaturated fat and blood cholesterol lowering. A copy of the Summary is available here.
  • Policy for Labelling and Advertising of Dietary Fibre-Containing Food Products. A copy of the Policy is available here.
  • A draft guidance on the use of the term “prebiotic(s)” on food labels and in advertising for consultation. The consultation period has ended. Among other things, the guidance document sets out 3 criteria that must be met for Health Canada to consider the term “prebiotic(s)” acceptable for a food product. They are: (1) a specific and measurable health benefit is demonstrated in humans, (2) a change in gut bacterial composition or activities is demonstrated in humans, and (3) the human health benefit demonstrated for criterion 1 is attributed to the change in gut bacterial composition or activities demonstrated for criterion 2. Human or animal studies can be used to support a biologically plausible mechanism of action.


This year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA”) has issued a number of reminders to industry. By August 4, 2012, enhanced food allergen labelling will come into force. Also, industry is reminded that the use of trade-marks in labelling and advertising of foods sold in Canada still need to comply with applicable food legislation. A copy of CFIA’s food allergen labelling reminder is available here, and trade-marks reminder is available here.