On June 30th, Canada’s new Organic Products Regulations took effect. CFIA will be involved in the implementation of the new regulations, which were drawn up in the hopes of achieving a more rigorous certification process for organic products.
Ask enough English/French translators, and you’ll probably end up with one group adamantly favouring a space before an exclamation mark in French copy and a group adamantly opposing it. Similarly, some MVS clients prefer the space, and others do not.
Displaying information on small and/or awkward packages can be problematic, and CFIA’s regulations for such packages are sometimes confusing. In particular, it seems that regulations concerning cosmetics packages have caused a significant amount of confusion. It’s not hard to imagine the difficulty in trying to display an ingredient list on a lipstick container, a mesh bag of bath beads, or a decorative perfume bottle.
In April, Health Canada posted a new set of guidelines concerning the use of health claims on foods containing probiotics, which are microorganisms touted for their health benefits — improved digestion, for example. CFIA has updated its Health Claims chapter to incorporate the new guidelines.
CFIA has launched an online magazine, liaison, to be the “voice of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.” The magazine’s ultimate purpose is to “enhance communications with [its] stakeholders in industry, academia, public advocacy and government.” Among the magazine’s goals is a significant dialogue with its audience, who is encouraged to submit “letters to the editor, suggestions and contributions,” which include ideas or manuscripts for essays, commentaries, feature stories, etc.
Based on consultation with relevant groups, Health Canada has proposed changes to the current rules for allergen labelling. They’ve published these proposals in Canada Gazette Part I. The goal is to gather feedback for 90 days. Results will be published in Canada Gazette Part II.
The main goal of these amendments is a more simplistic and consistent way of referring to substances commonly associated with allergies and intolerances. Many of these substances can be referred to in more than one way (e.g., “gluten” vs. “wheat”, “lactose” vs. “milk”, etc.), and can therefore cause confusion.
The Canada Gazette proposal can be found here. More general information can be found here and here.