New food labels help consumers buy Canadian

With the new year, the new Canadian food labelling rules officially kick in, making it easier for consumers to know exactly what they’re buying and where it came from.

Until now, food could be labelled as Canadian without actually having Canadian ingredients – as long as it was processed or “transformed” here.

The federal government announced new regulations last year to transform our food labelling practices after a series of media reports shedding light on misleading labelling and growth of the local food and “buy Canadian” movement.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, here’s what the new labels will mean:

Product of Canada – all or virtually all of the significant ingredients, processing and labour used in the food product must be Canadian.

Made in Canada – a food product is manufactured or processed in Canada, regardless of whether the ingredients are Canadian or not. If the ingredients are NOT Canadian, this must be stated on the label with a disclaimer like “Made in Canada of imported ingredients”, for example.

Any food product produced as of January 1 2009 should be compliant with the new labelling rules, but it may be a while before everything on our store shelves shows the new labels.

Click here for more information from the CFIA on Canada’s new food labels.

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