St. Valentine’s Day 2011 was particularly sweet for families dealing with severe food allergies. On that day, the Federal Government announced new food labelling regulations related to allergens. With food labelling as one of the organization’s 5-policy points, the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative was asked to be present at the announcement. Here is a short summary of the issue and relevant links to learn more about the Canadian Government’s response to the food labeling concerns of a growing segment of the population dealing with food allergies.
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, held a special Ottawa press conference to announce regulations to strengthen Canada’s labelling of food allergens and gluten sources. The new regulations will require additional labelling and strengthen the labelling requirements to require clearer language and the declaration of otherwise “hidden” allergens, gluten sources, and sulphites. These regulations were the result of years of consultative work between Health Canada officials, Canadian food industry sector and leading allergy experts.
Our family’s St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra was present at the press conference and stated, “Families across Niagara have told us that clear and accurate food labelling is crucial for the safety of their children. And by taking these steps, our government is ensuring that parents will have the information they need to make the correct choices for their families.”
CAI families thank MPs Dean Allison, Rick Dykstra and Ron Cannan for their part in ensuring this initiative moved forward without further delays. We appreciated working with you and playing a part in the announcement.
Federal Government’s February 14th press release and policy backgrounder
CAI spokesperson Chris George’s remarks at the announcement
With Thanks to Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (photos at event)
Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative: www.cai-allergies.ca
Since the announcement the CAI has been one of many leading stakeholders in consultation with Health Canada to ensure these regulations are properly and effectively implemented. CAI families are also commenting on how the regulations can be strengthened to consider “may contain” labelling, and how they must be responsive to the on-going changes in food packaging and product manufacturing.
Photo: Federal Minister of Health, Hon. Leona Aglukkaq and MP Dean Allison with Alexander and David George at the announcement event