The FDA soon will propose guidance regarding calorie and nutrient labeling on the front of food packages and plans to work collaboratively with the food industry to design and implement innovative approaches to front-of-package labeling that can help consumers choose healthy diets.
The catalyst for this move appears to be the number of recent transgressions that the FDA has called out.
In a nutshell, several factors will be considered, including whether an offending package’s claims are in line with the previous guidelines and whether “good faith” steps have been taken to rectify the offense. For the first six months after the implementation of the new guidelines, CFIA will take no action other than education and warning letters as long as there is deemed to have been no “bad faith.”
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.
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.