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Public Input on Food Labelling in Canada

by 5m Editor
26 May 2008, at 11:01am

CANADA - The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food expects its report on the labelling of food products to form the basis of discussions aimed at revamping the definition, "Product of Canada," writes Bruce Cochrane.

Earlier this month the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food completed public hearings which examined concerns related to the definition, "Product of Canada" in food labelling and it's scheduled to present its recommendations next week.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister has opened public consultations to gather input on planned changes to the definitions of "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada."

Standing Committee chair James Bezan suggests, by focusing strictly on those two definitions, changes could be made within a matter of weeks after final decisions are made.

James Bezan-Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

I think that we'll probably see things happen here over the next few months.

There's no doubt that we have to give industry time to adapt to the new guidelines and to changes their labels.

Definitely most of the fresh produce and red meats and even poultry products are already in compliance with any changes that are going to come into place because they are 100 percent Canadian.

The bigger concern is going to be what happens with processed food products and essentially how you deal with these imported concentrates of apple or orange juice coming from China or South America or India and then are reconstituted here and then are called "Product of Canada."

That is where it's going to take a little bit of time to allow industry to adapt their new labels and get them into place, as well as some of the other food processors that are making frozen dinners or pizzas and things along that nature.


Bezan notes Canadians can participate in the public consultations by logging onto the web site, healthycanadians.ca, which will be accessible until June 11.

5m Editor