CA - New Food Labels
Health Canada sets mandatory food labels
Last Updated Tue, 31 Dec 2002 15:50:34
OTTAWA - Health Canada Tuesday established mandatory nutritional labelling
for all packaged foods, which enables consumers to compare nutrients at
their supermarkets and corner groceries.
Previous labelling of packaged foods had been voluntary.
The new, mandatory labels are standard, listing the calories and 13 other
nutrients, including sodium, sugar and - an international first - the trans
fats in various packaged foods. These are the fats that clog arteries.
"Now we will have more information consistently on all prepackaged foods,"
dietitian Pam Lynch told CBC TV. "We'll be able to know a little more about
the nutrition, not just the inregedients, and how that nutrition will fit
into our healthy eating plan."
Lynch said manufacturers will be allowed to make health claims about their
products, providing they meet current scientific standards. For example, a
milk label might suggest that a diet rich in dairy products can reduce the
risk of osteoporosis (a condition of fragile, porous bones).
"Food manufacturers are aware that Canadians want healthy food," Lynch said.
"They're becoming more educated."
Health Canada now intends to set its sights on the fast-food industry, so
consumers will know the nutritonal values of the burgers and fries they