Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021: Modernize food regulations to enable innovative and safe foods for Canadians

Title of Regulatory Initiative

Modernize food regulations to enable innovative and safe foods for Canadians

Enabling Act

Food and Drugs Act

Description

The way in which the current food regulations are structured under the Food and Drugs Act is inadequate and cumbersome to keep up to date and prevents industry from bringing innovative products to market due to out of date regulations or lack of a regulatory structure to permit new products.

Health Canada proposes to address this issue by modernizing the regulations under the Food and Drugs Act/Food and Drug Regulations by taking incremental steps to address priorities. These priorities include:

  • Creating a regulatory framework in the Food and Drugs Regulations to enable continued use of Human Milk Fortifiers (HMFs). HMFs are foods that are added to breast milk to supplement its nutritional value to meet the particular needs of small preterm infants.
  • Creating a nimbler regulatory structure for updating microbiological criteria and scientific methodologies used to determine food safety in response to emerging science in a timelier and efficient manner.
  • Developing a regulatory pathway for supplemented foods that are considered to be safe.

This regulatory initiative was identified by Health Canada in the Agri-food and Aquaculture Sector Regulatory Review Roadmap.

This regulatory initiative is associated with Health Canada’s stock review plan.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Health Canada will conduct an international scan and seek to align proposed approaches with key regulatory cooperation partners as appropriate.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

Canadians would have access to innovative food products that are safe but not currently available in the market due to various regulatory impediments.

Creating a system that is more responsive to advances in technology, changing science, and consumer preference would provide greater clarity and predictability for industry to bring products to market in a timelier manner and ensure that food regulations are kept up to date and relevant.

Consultations

Consultations on Human Milk Fortifiers:

  • Health Canada has consulted with stakeholders on the development of a regulatory framework for human milk fortifiers from 2011 to 2014.
  • Further consultation with stakeholders is expected to take place in spring/summer 2019.
  • In addition, Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I, public comment period, which is expected to take place in spring 2020 and last at least 60 days.

Consultations on Health Canada’s Standards Modernization related changes:

  • Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I, public comment period, which is expected to take place in spring 2020 and last at least 60 days.

Consultations on Supplemented Foods:

  • Health Canada will hold pre-consultations with stakeholders on the proposed regulatory framework for supplemented foods ahead of publication in Canada Gazette, Part l. These pre-consultations are expected to take place in spring 2019.
  • In addition, Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I, public comment period, which is expected to take place in spring 2020 and last 70 days.

Further information

Additional information can be requested from the Departmental contact.

Departmental contact information

Bruno Rodrigue
Director
Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization
Policy, Planning and International Affairs Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Health Canada

Telephone: 613-946-6586
Email: hc.lrm-mlr.sc@canada.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

May 27, 2019

Consult Health Canada’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by Health Canada
  • further information on Health Canada’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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