How Can You Avoid New Health Canada Fees?
There are new Health Canada fees in the works. If you want to avoid $1,000s of licensing fees, contact us today to get your NHPs registered now before any new fees are instated. To learn more about these fees – read our recent blog post.
Nutrition Facts Changes to Labels
Changes were made to Nutrition labeling to offer consumers more information than before and make information more visible by increasing its size and location.
The changes include:
- Servings: Font sizes can be larger and bolder “to allow consumers access to the information they need about the foods they eat.” Serving Size changes “must be based on amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually eating, not what they should be eating“. An example was made with ice cream; previously the recommended serving of ice cream was 1/2 cup or 12 ounces. This recommended serving has changed to 2/3 cup or 8 ounces The label updates explain the change. For certain products consumed in one or multiple sittings, manufacturers will provide “two column” labels to indicate the number of calories and nutrients for both “per serving” and “per package” basis. This two-column label will help consumers understand the caloric and nutritional intake of the whole package.
- Calories: Larger type size with the same goal as the servings section, to give consumers better access to information.
- Daily Values: This section of the label has “been updated based on newer scientific evidence from the Institute of Medicine and other reports“. Manufacturers must declare the actual amount and the percent Daily Value of Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron and Potassium. For other vitamins and minerals, manufacturers can voluntarily declare the gram amount
- Added Sugars: New subsection of Total Sugars: Added Sugars must be included on the label. Single-ingredient sugars have different labeling requirements
- Nutrients Required: This section has been updated to have Vitamin D and Potassium amounts required. Calcium and Iron continue to be required on the label, while Vitamins A and C are no longer required but can be included voluntarily.
- Amounts Declared: Updated to reflect the latest science.
- The footnote * at the bottom of the label provides a better description of what percent Daily Value means.
Foods marketed as Natural Health Products.
Food submissions (TMAL, NFN, FAS), Health claim substantiation & supplement labeling. In Canada, food products can be either compliant or non-compliant. Compliant foods require only proper labeling with no pre-market approval process. The labels are bilingual and we can help create your bilingual label. Non-compliant foods may require pre-market approval before coming to market, such as genetically modified foods, foods fortified with vitamins/minerals/amino acids, and products which may be considered novel. We can help improve your compliance which will help get your products to market sooner.
Manufacturers of food-NHPs being transitioned to the food regulatory stream and not requiring reformulation, will be provided a transition period for the new allergen labeling requirements rather than being immediately subject to the new regulations on August 4, 2012. These products must fully comply with the enhanced food allergen labeling requirements along with all other labeling requirements by March 2014.
Temporary Marketing Authorizations (TMAs)
It is anticipated that most products at the food-NHP crossing point will need to be transitioned through TMAs, but some products may not require TMAs if they are already compliant foods. Furthermore, some products may not be eligible for TMAs without reformulation (or the need to change representation so as to not be confused for a food), if they have been identified as unsuitable to be sold as foods following a risk-based review.
Regulations for Selling Food products in Canada
Health Canada is responsible for regulating and setting standards for foods and natural health products in Canada. Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) regulates the sale of natural health products such as herbal drinks. Health Canada’s Food Directorate regulates the sale of foods. In the case of NHPs, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) becomes involved when natural health products are imported into Canada, as it is responsible for inspecting all food and natural health product shipments coming into Canada. The CFIA takes its direction on what natural health products can and cannot be imported from the NHPD. In the case of foods, the CFIA has a much greater role enforcing safety and nutritional quality standards set by Health Canada.
If ya drink is intended for sale in Canada, the first thing issue is whether or not your product falls under the Natural Health Products Regulations. If it is your plan to make a health claim (recommended use or purpose) for the product, then usually it automatically becomes an NHP under the regulations. Even if you don’t plan to make a health claim, it will likely still be considered an NHP, depending on a number of factors. It is necessary to review the regulations to be certain of the status of your drink or other food product. If your product is an NHP then you will have to secure a site license plus a product license from the NNHPD.
If your product is classified as a food, then you do not need the NHPD licenses, but Health Canada’s food regulations will apply.
Some time back, the FDA published new requirements for the Nutrition Facts Table to appear on food packaging. The update was made to reflect new scientific information, relating to diet and diseases, e.g. obesity and heart disease. This labeling update appears on most food packaging to help consumers make more informed food choices.
While these compliance dates are still in place, the FDA is willing to work with manufacturers to help meet these label requirements.