March 23, 2018

Canadian Government Updates Some Food Additive Regulations

The Canadian government is updating rules to regulate food additives. Last week, the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced the changes. She said in a statement, “these changes are further proof that our Government is serious about protecting the health and safety of Canadian consumers and their families.”

Food additives are those ingredients that affect a food’s flavor, color, consistency, and texture and remain in the finished product. According to the news release, “even when scientists showed a new additive could reduce the risk of a potential serious food-borne illness outbreak, it took an additional 12 to 18 months for the regulatory process to actually change the list and make the product legal.”

New additives will still have to undergo safety assessments, but Health Canada will be able to act faster to authorize ingredients that may have health or safety benefits, or respond to concerns about an existing additive. In other words, the health minister will have more power to approve or remove an additive once risk assessments are finished. You can see the listĀ of permitted food additives, along with limits on use, at the Health Canada web site.


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