Canada to lobby against mandatory ingredients labeling

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Codex

The Canadian delegation for Codex will dispute mandatory labeling
for the amount of health-related ingredients in processed foods,
considering current guidelines to be sufficient.

The Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) is due to meet in Ottawa later this month to discuss international labeling guidelines amid increasing consumer awareness of the food they eat, a trend that mounts pressure on the industry. One of the topics on the agenda is the suggestion that the food industry should be required to display details the amounts of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and added sugars in the Quantitative Declaration of Ingredients. However, a Codex report said: "The Delegation ofCanadaindicated that it did not support the need for universal QUID labelling [sic] in view of the considerable amount of information already provided in the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods and related guidelines to assist consumers' choice. "This view was supported by the Delegations ofUnited StatesandChile. Some delegations supported retaining the current text of the Standard but agreed that further discussion of quantitative declaration would be needed." Food labeling ​ Labeling has become an ever-important issue in the food industry as current trends lean towards natural and organic and health and wellness products. Codex establishes food standards on behalf of the UN and World Health Organization (WHO). The topic is a significant one for the body, as obesity continues to be a serious global problem, influenced by one's diet. Over 300m adults are obese worldwide, representing a three-fold increase since the 1980s, according to latest statistics from the WHO and the International Obesity Task Force. Codex session ​ The Codex meeting on labeling will be the committee's 36th session and it will be held 28 April to 2 May in Canada. On the agenda is:

  • Consideration of labeling provisions in draft Codex standards

  • Implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

  • Guidelines for the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced foods

  • Labeling of foods and food ingredients obtained through techniques of genetic modification/genetic engineering

  • General standard for the labeling of prepackaged foods (quantitative declaration of ingredients)

  • Discussion paper on advertising in relation to nutrition and health claims

  • Modified standardized common names

Although any decisions made by Codex would not have statutory force, an increasing number of countries align their food standards with Codex following WHO agreements that say that Codex standards are favored in international trade disputes.

Related topics: Suppliers, Food safety and labeling

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