CANADA – Health Canada, a department of the Government of Canada responsible for national health policy and also Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), has revised the nutrition labeling, list of ingredients, and food color requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations in Canada Gazette Part II on Dec. 14, 2016 with the changes to be implemented on a 5-year schedule.

There are new requirements regarding the legibility of ingredient lists and food color declaration, grouping of sugars in the list of ingredients, various changes to information contained in the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) and removal of the requirement for certification of synthetic colors.

Also included are changes on the incorporation by reference of daily values, templates for the NFt formats, reference amounts, serving sizes, and most food color specifications.

These regulatory amendments provide a 5-year transition period for regulated parties to meet the new labeling requirements, ending on Dec. 14, 2021.

Amendments dealing with food color specifications and removal of the synthetic color certification requirement came into effect immediately at the time of publication of the amendments.

In the first year following the transition period, the CFIA will focus its efforts on education and compliance promotion, until Dec. 14, 2022.

 After that date, it will verify compliance and apply enforcement discretion in cases of non-compliance when regulated parties have a detailed plan that shows how they intend to comply at the earliest possible time, and no later than Dec. 14, 2023.

Regulated parties may apply either the former regulations or the new regulations over the 5-year transition period.

Health Canada and the CFIA have developed a 3 phased implementation plan for this transition period.

CFIA inspection activities will monitor compliance with the new labeling requirements for prepackaged products imported, manufactured in Canada, or packaged at retail after Dec. 14, 2022.

However, the CFIA will apply enforcement discretion in cases where regulated parties have a detailed plan showing how they intend to meet the new requirements at the earliest possible time, and no later than Dec. 14, 2023.

Throughout all phases of the implementation plan, including the 2 years after the end of the transition period, the CFIA may take action in cases of inaccurate, false, or misleading labeling information. In addition, Health Canada will conduct health risk assessments in support of CFIA’s compliance activities and continue to provide guidance on the interpretation of these regulatory amendments.