Health Canada seeking input on synthetic colors labelling

Health Canada is proposing to amend the current labelling regulations so that food colors would be required to be identified on labels by their common name and/or by a numerical identifier. These changes are being proposed due to reports of potential adverse health effects associated with the consumption of certain food colors, as well as requests by consumers that more information be made available when making food selections.

Health Canada is contacting stakeholders for additional information on the use of synthetic food colors in Canada. If your company uses synthetic food colors or submits requests to Health Canada for certification of specific food colors this will be important to you.

The following specific questions require your feedback and input:

  • Does your company submit synthetic food colors for certification to Health Canada? This question refers to provisions within the food and drug regulations which stipulate that all synthetic color lots must be certified by Health Canada officials.
  • Who in your company is involved in the certification of synthetic colors used in food products?
  • How often does your company send out synthetic color lots to be certified by Health Canada?
  • What is the time delay between submitting a lot for certification and receiving a response/approval from Health Canada?
  • Are there any other costs associated with the certification of synthetic food colors? If yes, please list and describe them.
  • Referring to the proposed changes to the ingredient list and listing of color by its common name in the ingredient list what cost implications might this have on your product label.
  • Does your industry/company already list colors by their common name on the ingredients list?

More information
Stakeholders are asked to submit responses to the above questions to Jordan Sauer, Economic Analyst at Health Canada via e-mail before February 6, 2015. Additional questions can be directed at Mr. Sauer via telephone at 613-941-8438.