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January 29, 2014

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Health Canada proposing new labeling requirements for food colors
Food coloring

Health Canada is launching a consultation with stakeholders and the Canadian public on proposed changes to improve the labeling requirements for food colors in Canada.

The consultation, which will be posted on the Health Canada website and open for comments from February 18th until May 4th, is intended to seek input on several options for future labeling requirements.

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations currently allow manufacturers to use the general term "color" to specify one or more food colors. For the majority of prepackaged foods, manufacturers may voluntarily declare individual colors by name at their own discretion.

However, there is some evidence suggesting a link between consumption of certain food colours and adverse reactions in sensitive individuals. More recently, certain food color mixtures have been associated with behavioral effects in children. For these reasons, Health Canada considers it prudent to improve labeling requirements for food colours.

Health Canada's proposed changes would eliminate the option of using the general term "color" and require that individual colours be identified on food ingredient labels for many, if not all, colours. By improving food color labeling requirements, Health Canada's goal is to enable consumers to make more informed choices which could contribute to the reduction of adverse reactions.

Health Canada will continue to update Canadians on the progress of this issue once the consultation period has concluded. Please visit the Health Canada website for more information on the proposal to improve the food color labeling requirements in Canada (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consultation/init/_feb2010-food-aliments-col/index-eng.php).

SOURCE: Health Canada 

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