Nutrition labelling has been mandatory for pre-packaged foods in Canada since December 2007. By providing a means for industry to showcase the nutritional profile of its products, nutrition labelling encourages product reformulation and development, while supporting consumers in making informed purchase decisions.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada worked with Health Canada and the food industry to anticipate costs associated with label changes and to determine a reasonable transition period. One outcome from this work is that small businesses were granted a longer timeframe to comply with the new regulations. Despite logistical, cost and other challenges, the food industry has embraced nutrition labelling and is responding to the needs of today's nutrition-conscious consumer with products that have increasingly positive nutrition profiles.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports the agri-food sector in bringing innovative foods with added health benefits to market. Contact the Food Regulatory Issues Division for assistance in determining the right regulatory path for new food products with health attributes and in developing high-quality submissions to Health Canada for health claims, novel foods and ingredients.
For specific questions regarding nutrition labelling, contact your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.
- Nutrition Labelling - Regulations and Compliance (Health Canada)
- Regulations amending the Food and Drug Regulations (nutrition labelling, nutrient content claims and health claims) (2002)
- Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
- Nutrition Labels and Health Claims: The Global Regulatory Environment (external PDF) (2004)
- Nutrition Labelling Compliance Test, Appendix 4 - Laboratory Issues (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
- List of accredited laboratories for nutrient analysis (Standards Council of Canada, Program for the Accreditation of Laboratories/Canada [PALCAN])
- After navigating to the page, click on Testing laboratories, the second heading under the title Directory of PALCAN Scopes. This limits the search to laboratories accredited to the ISO 17025 standards by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
- In the field Select a Program Specialty Area from the Following, choose Agriculture and Food Products (AFP) from the pull-down menu.
- To narrow the search further, enter additional information such as the province.
- Then enter terms into the keyword search to find laboratories that analyze the nutrient(s) of interest.
- Click Submit once you have finished entering information.
- Note: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recommends the selection of laboratories that are accredited to the ISO 17025 standards by SCC. CFIA also indicates that ISO 17025 accredited laboratories from other countries would also be recommended, and that company quality assurance laboratories using validated methods can also be used.