Supplemented foods are packaged food products containing one or more added supplemental ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and caffeine. Before 2012, supplemented foods were not permitted to be sold under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). Instead, they were marketed as Natural Health Products (NHPs). In 2011, Health Canada transitioned hundreds of NHPs to the food regulatory framework, and products containing ingredients already considered safe for consumption were licensed and permitted for sale under Temporary Marketing Authorizations (TMA).
The TMA framework involved a significant administrative burden and was viewed as a barrier to innovation. Health Canada committed to developing a regulatory framework specific to these products. In 2021 Health Canada proposed the Supplemented Foods regulatory framework, which included compliance limits for supplemental ingredients. This framework was a significant departure from the previous TMA processes and would impose increased costs and formulation changes to industry.
Since the time of the Health Canada proposal, CHFA has voiced its concerns about supplemental ingredients that have minimum compliance limits. In September 2022, CHFA submitted Feedback on the Consultation for the Compliance of Supplemental Ingredients Declared on the Labels of Supplemented Foods.
Current Advocacy Efforts
- CHFA continues to advocate on reasonable upper tolerance limit for certain supplemental ingredients found in Part IV of the List of Permitted Supplemental Ingredients
- We have been in discussions with partners regarding the symbols on the front-of-pack where products may have both the Front -of-Pack and Supplemented Foods symbols.
- Health Canada will lead an awareness campaign that will be released leading up to the the Supplement Foods label changes coming into force, with specific attention to at risk populations such as pregnant/breastfeeding women and youth. CHFA will be an active participant throughout this consultation.