Important Links - Food

The Food and Drug Act and Regulations are the primary legislation that apply to all foods sold in Canada, whether imported or domestic.  Health Canada’s Food Directorate is responsible for establishing standards for the safety and nutritional quality of all foods sold in Canada.  The Food Directorate exercises this mandate under the authority of the Food and Drugs Act, and pursues its regulatory mandate under the Food and Drug RegulationsAll health and safety standards under the Food and Drug Regulations are enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The Organic Products Regulations came into force on June 30, 2009.  These regulations form the basis of a federally regulated system for organic agriculture in Canada.  The Canadian Organic Standards (COS), published November 25, 2015 will guide the production and prepartion of organic food in Canada until 2020. 

Supplemented Foods

Health Canada's Food Directorate has finalized the Category Specific Guidance for Temporary Marketing Authorization: Supplemented Foods which outlines maximum levels of addition for vitamins and minerals as well as other requirements for TMALs such as labelling. 

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Food Safety

As a part of ongoing food regulatory modernization initiatives, the Government of Canada is taking further action to strengthen Canada's world-class food safety system with the launch of the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan. The Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) was adopted by the Senate on October 17, 2012 and received Royal Assent on November 22, 2012. The SFCA consolidates the authorities of the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

In April of 2015, CFIA released draft text of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), which will bring the SFCA into force, once approved. In addition to consolidating the Acts listed above, the SFCR will also incorporate the Organic Product Regulations. Important links include:

Food Labelling

Both Health Canada and CFIA have responsibilities in governing the regulation of food labelling in Canada. 

  • Health Canada is responsible for the administration of health and safety aspects of food labelling, including label and health claims; nutrient declarations; and ingredient listings.
  • CFIA is responsible for the administration of non-health and safety regulations concerning food packaging, labelling and advertising.

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