Canada will require companies to add nutrition warnings to the front of prepackaged foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar or sodium in an effort to help food shoppers make healthier choices only. at a glance.
But ground meat will be exempt from the label, after ranchers’ groups protested Health Canada’s proposal earlier this month.
The government says the labels are aimed at helping Canadians eat healthier, as so-called “nutrients of public health concern” have been linked to conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. type 2 road.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said: “These regulations are designed to make it easier for us to make informed and healthier choices.
Health Canada says new labels will supplement, rather than replace, the more detailed nutritional information typically found on the back of food packaging.
Generally, they will be placed on prepackaged foods that contain more than 15% of the recommended daily value of saturated fat, sugar or sodium. For prepackaged meals, the warnings will only apply to items with more than 30% of the recommended daily intake.
The proposed labels were at the center of controversy earlier this month when a group of ranchers protested against the government’s plan to include warnings on ground meat.
At the time, the Canadian Cattle Association said the policy would “defame” ground meat and make people think it was a less healthy option than cutting whole meat.
Health Canada now exempts ground meat from warning labels, even if it’s high in fat or salt. The product is considered healthy despite having “nutrients of concern”, along with milk, many cheeses and fruit.
Packages of sugar and salt will also be exempt, as the government says including labels on such products would be redundant.
The government says the rules will come into effect as early as 2026, which it says gives companies plenty of time to manage the costs of adjusting their packaging.
Health Canada will also limit the size of “voluntary health-related information,” such as a label claiming an item is high in fiber.
This Canadian Press report was first published on June 30, 2022.