The Food and Drugs Act is the primary legislation governing the safety and nutritional quality of food sold in Canada. The Act and its Regulations govern food labelling, advertising and claims; food standards and compositional requirements; fortification; foods for special dietary uses; food additives; chemical and microbial safety; veterinary drugs; packaging material; and pesticides. The role of the Act and Regulations is to protect the public against health hazards and fraud from the sale of food and beverages, drugs, natural health products, medical devices and cosmetics.
- In this section
- Food Policy and Regulatory Issues
Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have complementary roles in the development, enforcement and interpretation of policies and guidance based on the Act and Regulations.
- Health Canada develops policies, regulations and standards related to the health, nutritional and safety aspects of foods governed under the Act and Regulations. Health Canada also develops guidance documents to assist industry in compliance.
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces the Act and the associated requirements established by Health Canada as they relate to food safety and nutritional quality. CFIA maintains the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising, a tool to help industry, consumers and CFIA inspectors interpret food policies and regulations
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), through the Growing Forward policy framework, provides information and guidance to industry groups on food policy and regulatory issues, particularly with regard to innovative foods with health benefits. AAFC helps the sector to understand regulatory processes and requirements and to set priorities with respect to health claims, novel foods and ingredients.
The three federal departments communicate regularly to ensure that regulations and policies are developed in a way that supports industry investment, innovation and competitiveness while continuing to put the priority on protecting public safety and promoting health.