Food Labels in Canada Toughest of All

By Cindy Bishop on 12/19/2005
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I posted a while back on the top of food labeling (October 26, 2005 – ‘Will McDonald’s Finally Beat The McWrap’?), and it now looks like Canada might be paving the way for even stricter food labeling requirements for all food companies.

In fact, Canada now has the strictest labeling requirements in the world. December was the deadline for companies in Canada selling packaged food (whose earnings exceed $1 million dollars), to make the required changes on their labels.  Smaller companies have until ’07.  What they’ve said about low carb labeling I find particularly interesting – and insightful.  Apparently, Canadians aren’t buying this notion that carbs are bad – for lack of proof, and have put an immediate stop to this type of marketing.

Products won’t be able to trumpet themselves as “low carb” or “no carb.” Health Nutrition_labelCanada says there’s no scientific evidence that carbohydrates are a dietary problem. “Statements about the presence or absence of carbohydrates, including the use of brand names and trademarks, are subject to these regulations,” Health Canada warns in a letter to the food industry.

The lesson here, if there is one, might be thinking twice before we jump on board the next nutritional band wagon and there will be one.  The recent low carb epidemic serves to remind we should always bow to our own good sense.

Educating ourselves about nutrition, good eating and health is our responsibility.  Handing off our good judgment to a billion dollar marketing campaign, might be a mistake.  With just a little help from our government, we should be able to get reliable information about the food we’re eating – because don’t we have a right to know what we’re buying and putting in out bodies?  Not to get crazy about it, but so we can educate ourselves and then relax and simply enjoy our food!

For more on Canadian labeling guidelines check out this article on CBC News In Depth’.

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