More Detailed Food Labels Called for

CANADA - The Consumers Association of Canada is calling on government to require as much information on food labels as is practical, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 20 June 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Under current rules, if over 51 percent of the cost of processing and packaging a food product is incurred in Canada, it qualifies as a "Product of Canada" regardless of where the contents of the package originated.

Earlier this year Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced an initiative to more clearly define the terms "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada."

Consumers Association of Canada president Bruce Cran says inferior or contaminated products coming in from outside of Canada have heightened public awareness and consumers are looking for more information on which to base buying decisions.

Clip-Bruce Cran-Consumers Association of Canada

They're looking for anything that gives them information.

They're looking for the content of the package, salt, sugar, what's in there.

They're also looking for information on where it was bought so that they can make a decision.

They maybe want to make a patriotic type decision to buy.

They might give preference to Made in Canada.

It might be that they're looking for salt content, low salt, high salt, no sugar, all of these things.

The highest amount was for genetically modified foods.

That's gone nowhere.

We did have participation in a committee looking at that for three years and eventually pulled out when it was quite obvious no decision was going to be made.

There seems to be a school of thought that wishes to deny consumers information on certain subjects and therefor not include them in the label but consumers are generally are very smart these days.

They want to know what's in the package and how it fits into their lifestyle and the only way you can do this is by having all of this information on the label.

Cran is surprised there hasn't been a greater outcry from Canadian companies producing Canadian goods.

He suggests the term "Made in Canada" should be a sacred issue, especially if we have good safe products and other countries don't.

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