CFIA finds many Canadian labels inaccurate: Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Snack foods, Snack food, Canadian food inspection agency

In tests conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), most candies, snack foods and breads were found to fall short of composition claims such as ‘low in fat’, ‘sugar free’ or ‘100 percent whole wheat’, according to a Postmedia report.

The Canadian news agency said that according to minutes from the CFIA’s Fair Labelling Practices Program released to it under freedom of information laws, the agency tested 252 chocolate bars, fruit snacks and candy items to ascertain the accuracy of their composition claims. It found that 159 were inaccurate.

For baked goods, like bread, cookies and muffins, it found that 122 (59 percent) of the 208 tested did not live up to composition claims about whole grains or fat content, for example. And 49 percent of snack foods, like nuts, chips and snack mixes, were found to be labeled inaccurately – 79 of 161 tested were inaccurately labeled as ‘low in sodium’, among other claims, the Vancouver Sun​ said in its report.

The CFIA does not release details of specific brands, but works with food manufacturers found to be out of compliance with labeling regulation to ensure their products conform to the rules.

The government agency also carried out tests for net quantity, comparing the amount in grams listed on the packaging with the products’ actual quantity. It found that just under a third of baked goods’ and breads’ labeling stated that the packages contained more than they actually did, as was the case with over a fifth of candy products. Meanwhile, seven out of 109 snack products tested overstated quantity, the CFIA found.

According to the report, government inspectors targeted specific brands of candy, snack products and baked goods, like muffins, breads and cookies, from 2006 to 2010 because they already suspected them to be out of compliance with labeling rules.

Related topics: Regulation, Food safety and labeling

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