On Saturday, Health Canada proposed regulatory amendments that would make the most sweeping changes to food labelling laws in decades. The Ottawa office of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) assembled a coalition of 17 non-profit groups the Alliance for Food Label Reform which pressured the government to act. The coalition represents 2 million Canadian consumers, scientists, physicians, nutritionists, and other health professionals.
Bill Jeffery, National Coordinator of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), had the following comment:
This is a landmark event in the effort to improve the public health through diet. Health Canadas proposed nutrition label will make choosing healthy foods much easier. Our 2-million-strong coalition has advocated mandatory nutrition labelling for four years.
However, we are disappointed that Health Canada did not propose listing refined sugars and requiring nutrition labelling on packaged fresh meat a major source of saturated fat fresh poultry and seafood.
Also, some of the proposed rules may allow health and nutrition claims on such foods as fatty ice cream, cheeses, and onion rings; sugary preserves and salty pickles. High calcium ice-cream might help stave off osteoporosis, but all that saturated fat could promote heart disease. The rules need to be tightened to prevent persuasive marketing claims on foods that could decrease the risk of one disease while increasing the risk of another.