Executive Summary of the Food Expert Advisory Committee Meeting October 9 - 10, 2013

Objectives of the Meeting:

This was the tenth meeting of the Food Expert Advisory Committee. The objectives of the session were:

  • To seek advice from committee members on key food and nutrition safety topics and issues for Health Canada consideration in decision making.
  • To inform about the ongoing work of the Food Directorate and its partners to optimize members' knowledge and expertise for input into decision making processes.

This report follows the order of the meeting agenda and is a summary of the information presented. The list of attendees is attached as Appendix.

The meeting was held in Ottawa, Ontario at the Brooke Claxton Building, Health Canada.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 (Day 1)

Opening and Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Keith Mussar and Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka, Co-chairs of the Food Expert Advisory Committee, and Mr. Hans Yu, Director, Bureau of Business Systems and Operations (BBSO), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, welcomed new and current members and observers to the meeting. They thanked the members for their contributions and commented on their important roles and responsibilities as members.

New FEAC Membership Introduction

Dr. Keith Mussar and Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka invited new and current members to briefly introduce themselves and their expertise to the rest of the group.

FEAC Member Information Sharing

Dr. Keith Mussar and Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka invited members to provide the Secretariat with key emerging issues that they would consider important for possible discussion at a future meeting.

Update and Look Forward on Key Activities

Dr. William Yan, Director, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences (BNS), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch thanked members for their time investment and for their continued support to the Food Directorate in providing their insights and expertise on key directorate files. He noted that the Committee was considered important and highly regarded inside and outside of the Department. He then gave an overview of the directorate Key Commitments for the current fiscal year. This was followed by questions and comments from members.

Updates from the Bureau of Chemical Safety (BCS) AND Management of Processing aids, Incidental additives and Food Packaging

Mr. Mark Feeley, Associate Director, Bureau of Chemical Safety (BCS), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, provided an update on key BCS files. He also presented Bureau's consideration for future management of Processing aids, Incidental additives and Food Packaging. The update was followed by questions and feedback from members.

Updates from the Bureau of Microbial Hazards (BMH)

Dr. Jeff Farber, Director, Bureau of Microbial Hazards (BMH), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, provided an update on the XL Foods and other BMH priority files. The update was followed by questions and feedback from members.

Key Messages (Day 1)

Members also agreed on key outcomes of the meetings as follows:

Health Canada hosted the 10th meeting of the Food Expert Advisory Committee (FEAC) in Ottawa, October 9 - 10, 2013.

  • New members to FEAC were introduced and welcomed.
  • FEAC provided feedback to the Food Directorate (FD) on items related to the FD Key Commitments and Business Plan 2013-2014.
  • FD solicited and received input on emerging issues.
  • FEAC provided advice on Health Canada's food regulatory modernization.
  • FEAC was provided with an update on initiatives from the Bureau of Chemical Safety (BCS). FEAC members will provide further input.
  • FEAC was provided with information on the key activities from the Bureau of Microbial Hazards (BMH) and

Feedback was solicited.

The meeting was adjourned.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 (Day 2)

The second day included both regular FEAC members and ad hoc members providing advice on Sodium related issues.

Plan for Day 2

Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka and Dr. Keith Mussar, Co-chairs of the Food Expert Advisory Committee, welcomed members to the second day of the meeting, and thanked them for a successful first day.

Dr. Samuel Godefroy, Director General, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, welcomed current members, new members and the ad hoc sodium members. He commented on the importance of their contributions to the Food Directorate.

Introduction to New Membership

Dr. Keith Mussar and Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka, invited new, current and ad hoc sodium members to briefly introduce themselves and their expertise to the rest of the group.

Overview on Nutrition Labelling and Related Education Efforts

Ms. Charmaine Kuran, Section Head, Nutrition Composition, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, Food Directorate and Ms. Elaine De Grandpré, Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion (ONPP), Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, provided an update to members on the plan forward to update Canada's nutrition labelling requirements.  The update was followed by questions and feedback from members.

Response to FEAC Comments - Overview of the Feedback

Dr. William Yan, Director, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences (BNS), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch provided an overview of the feedback received from members from the June 5-6, 2013 meeting on the sodium.  The overview was followed by questions and feedback from members.

Revision to the Sodium % Daily Value (DV) Paper & Proposed Options for Sodium % DV (Questions and Answers)

Ms. Charmaine Kuran, Section Head, Nutrition Composition, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences (BNS), Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch provided an update to members on the proposed options for the sodium % DV. The updates were followed by questions and feedback from members.

Member Discussion on Proposed Option for Sodium % DV and FEAC Recommendation

Dr. Keith Mussar and Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka, Co-chairs of the Food Expert Advisory Committee, led the membership discussion as they worked at formulating the FEAC recommendation for the Food Directorate.

Key Messages (Day 2)

Members also agreed on key outcomes of the meetings as follows:

Health Canada hosted the 10th meeting of the Food Expert Advisory Committee (FEAC) in Ottawa, October 9 - 10, 2013.  October 10th members of the Sodium Ad Hoc Committee joined the discussion.

  • New members to FEAC were introduced and welcomed.
  • FEAC was provided with an update on Food Directorate activities on nutrition labelling and related education efforts. FEAC provided feedback.
  • FEAC provided a recommendation to the Food Directorate regarding the value to be used as a reference for the percentage Daily Value for sodium.

Closing Comments

In closing, Dr. Keith Mussar and Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka, Co-chairs of the Food Expert Advisory Committee, advised members that they should send in their comments on all questions at the earliest opportunity.  He thanked members for their input and advice to Health Canada and invited members to provide comments on the meeting. Members commented that the meeting had been valuable and engaging, but noted the limited time allotted to some agenda items.

Next Meeting of the Food Expert Advisory Committee will be scheduled for spring 2014 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Participant List:

Members:

  • Dr. Keith Mussar (Co-chair)
  • Ms. Francy Pillo-Blocka (Co-chair)
  • Ms. Marilyn Allen
  • Mr. Josh Brandon
  • Mr. Carl Carter
  • Mr. Albert Chambers
  • Ms. Jackie Crichton
  • Ms. Lucie Granger
  • Mr. Nyall Hislop
  • Dr. Richard Holley
  • Mr. Mike Horwich
  • Mr. Grant Morrison
  • Dr. Paul Paquin
  • Dr. Vijaya Raghavan
  • Ms. Vida Stevens
  • Dr. Rickey Yada
  • Dr. Mary Alton Mackey (Unable to attend)
  • Dr. Valerie Assinewe (Unable to attend)
  • Dr. Simone Lemieux (Unable to attend)
  • Mr. David Skinner (Unable to attend)

Ad hoc members:

  • Ms. Mary Ann Binnie
  • Dr. Norman Campbell
  • Mrs. Sherry Casey
  • Mrs. Carol Dombrow
  • Mr. Paul Hetherington
  • Ms. Phyllis Tanaka
  • Dr. Kevin John Willis
  • Dr. Thérèsa Glanville (Unable to attend)

Government of Canada representatives:

  • Dr. Samuel Godefroy, Director General, Food Directorate, Health Canada (FD-HC)
  • Mr. Brooke Bertrand, Policy Analyst, Bureau of Policy, Intergovernmental and International Affairs (BPIIA), FD-HC
  • Dr. William Yan, Director, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences (BNS), FD-HC
  • Dr. Mark Feeley, Associate Director, Bureau of Chemical Safety (BCS), FD-HC
  • Dr. Jeff Farber, Director, Bureau of Microbial Hazards (BMH), FD-HC
  • Mr. Hans Yu, Director, Bureau of Business Systems and Operations (BBSO), FD-HC
  • Ms. Charmaine Kuran, Section Head, Nutrition Composition, BNS, FD-HC
  • Ms. Elaine De Grandpré, Manager, Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion (ONPP), HC
  • Mr. Michael Masotti, Senior Advisor to the Director General, DGO, FD-HC
  • Mr. Raymond W Tsang, Manager, Governance and Engagement, BBSO, FD-HC
  • Ms. Annie Noël, Secretariat Officer, Governance and Engagement, BBSO, FD-HC

Observers:

  • Ms. Anne Kennedy, Deputy Director, Food Industry Division, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
  • Ms. Catherine Semple, Chief, Compliance Micro, Extraneous, Nutrition, Imported and Manufactured Food, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Ms. Iwona Kuszczak, Scientific Project Coordinator, BNS, FD-HC
  • Ms. Lydia Dumais, Section Head, Nutrition Labelling and Claims, BNS, FD-HC
  • Ms. Tracy Boudreau, Nutrition Project Coordinator, BNS, FD-HC
  • Ms. Nora Lee, Chief, Nutrition Regulations and Standards Division, BNS, FD-HC
  • Dr. Hasan Hutchinson, Director General, ONPP, HC
  • Mr. Patrice Milord, Senior Policy Analyst, BPIIA, FD-HC
  • Ms. Isabelle Slight, Senior Policy Analyst, BPIIA, FD-HC
  • Mr. Michel Vigneault, Statistician, Bureau of Food Surveillance and Science Integration (BFSSI), FD-HC
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