On June 17, 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released its Guidelines for Highlighted Ingredients and Flavours (the Guidelines) policy for consultation, with comments due by August 23, 2012.

The Guidelines would replace the existing policy that dates back to 2006.  The stated purpose is "to provide guidance to clarify existing requirements and policies on the use of highlighted ingredient or flavour claims on a label or advertisement to promote truthful and not misleading labelling. "   The aim is to provide meaningful information for consumers and promote a level playing field for industry.

The Guidelines set out examples as to what would be considered truthful and not misleading.   In essence, they address concerns about over-emphasizing the importance, presence or absence of an ingredient or substance in a food because of its desirable or undesirable qualities. Areas which are addressed in the guidelines, include substitution, over-emphasis and misrepresentation of flavours.

The new Guidelines provide several examples on the degree to which, when naming products, ingredients can be highlighted.

The policy may be found through the main consultation page at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/other-requirements/highlighted-consultation/eng/1339421942081/1339422145856.