For Immediate Release:
March 30, 2004
Réponse aux critiques de l'industrie alimentaire
Response to Industry criticisms
Dear Member of Parliament
Cher Deputé / Chere Deputé
Letter to Ministers Pettigrew and Bennett
Bill C-398 in Brief
Summaire de C-398
See also, information concerning the most recent hour of debate:
For more information:
Bill Jeffery, CSPI's National Coordinator,
at (613) 244-7337.
||Media Advisory: House of Commons to vote on Bill C-398, An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act this Wednesday, March 31, 2004|
|OTTAWA (March 30, 2004): The House of Commons is set to hold a second reading vote on Bill C-398, An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act this Wednesday, March 31, 2004. The NDP, Bloc
Québécois and, at least, a significant number of Liberal backbenchers are expected to support the bill.
Bill C-398, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (food labelling), sponsored by Liberal MP Tom
Wappel, proposes to require that:
- fast food chains post the number of calories in menu items beside prices on menu boards, and
require that full-service restaurant chains (where more spacious menus are provided) to also
display the amounts of saturated plus trans fat, and sodium;
- all fresh meat, poultry and seafood (not just ground, processed and frozen meat) sold in retail
stores disclose full nutrition information to be required for most other pre-packaged foods by
December 2005; and
- packaged, processed foods disclose the percentage-by-weight of main ingredients and others
especially relevant to health, like added sugars, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
According to the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the bill is consistent with
commitments in the 2002 and 2004 Throne Speeches to tackle diet-related disease, and on-going
negotiations among federal, provincial and territorial health ministers to develop a "Pan-Canadian
Healthy Living Strategy." Bill C-398 also builds on nutrition label regulations promulgated in January
2003 by former Minister of Health Anne McLellan. Those new rules are predicted to generate $5 billion
in health care cost savings and productivity gains -- 20 times the costs of modifying labels.
Diet-related cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis cost Canadian society
$6.3 billion, and as many as 25,000 lives annually. Bill C-398 is supported by 29 health and citizens
groups representing 2 million Canadians.