ARCHIVED - Food Regulatory Advisory Committee Video-Conference Meeting Notes

Monday, December 6th, 2010
13h00 - 16h00 (Eastern Standard Time)

Introduction/Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Paul Paquin, Chair of the Food Regulatory Advisory Committee (FRAC), welcomed members and observers to this videoconference meeting of the committee. He was followed by Dr. Keith Mussar, Associate Chair of the Food Regulatory Advisory Committee and by Dr. Samuel Godefroy, Executive Secretary, Director General of the Food Directorate, HPFB.

HPFB Food and Nutrition Program Strategic Plan 2011-2015

Members were provided with feedback from Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) directorates on the input that they had provided on the draft HPFB Food and Nutrition Program Strategic Plan 2011-2015, by Adam Gibson, A/Senior Executive Director, Food Directorate (FD). It is anticipated that the Plan will be finalized in early 2011 and will be posted to the Health Canada (HC) web site.

Comments from members:

  • in consideration of the population health interface, recommend that HC involve the health portfolio and continue to collaborate with CFIA and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on post-market food regulation and the implementation of the strategic plan
  • in consideration of the importance of ongoing research efforts, recommend continued interface with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as well as international cooperation and an ongoing commitment to bolster stakeholder engagement in all processes, in order to sustain academic input and scientific rigour
  • in order to optimize linkages with existing programs, request clarification of the link to the Science and Technology Strategy for the Government of Canada, especially positioning food and health initiatives
  • recommend adjusting the wording that refers to internal actions designed to bolster HC as a 'learning organization'
  • recommend that the Plan clearly identify all information receptors for public seeking food information, i.e. ensuring accessible information through channels other than the HC web site

Update on General Files

Listeria Policy in Ready-To-Eat Foods

Comments from Members:

  • challenge studies need to be incorporated, given members' concerns with respect to the use of equivalencies and FD should ensure that the compendium will be updated as methods for implementation are developed

Sodium Reduction Strategy

Comments from Members:

  • how will progress be monitored, and will both product lines and population health be tracked (FD response: affirmative for product lines and can only monitor what falls under mandate)
  • a tool is needed that will help consumers make informed food choices and address both general and population-specific needs, at least as far as HC's mandate allows
  • Canadian Nutrient File is already a key source of information for dieticians and other health professionals and should include a simple template as part of education strategy
  • hoping that FRAC will be invited to provide comments on the sodium education strategy, need focus on all three prongs to ensure that altered products are accepted (eg. Online sodium intake tools, consider successful models such as public information available from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, UK approach, etc.)

Food allergen labelling regulations

Comments from Members:

  • looking forward to FD posting results of consultation in early 2011, given strong stakeholder involvement in this project

Bisphenol A

Comments from Members:

  • anticipating results of current research in the gap areas that are evident from the World Health Organization consultation results that were posed in fall 2010

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Expert Advisory Boards

Comments from Members:

  • FRAC members requested an update and possible collaboration with the new Ministerial Advisory Board

Transparency in Food Regulatory Decisions / Use of Consultative Processes by Food Directorate-Fall 2010

FRAC members have provided written responses to key questions on how FD is achieving transparency in food regulatory decisions and the guidances that govern FD consultative processes. A summary of these assignments will be reviewed by the Executive Secretary and brought forward to members in early 2011.

Attendance

Members

  • Dr. Mary Alton Mackey
  • Mr. Herb Barbolet
  • Mr. Josh Brandon
  • Mr. Carl Carter
  • Mr. Albert Chambers
  • Ms. Jackie Crichton
  • Mr. Francois Décary-Gilardeau
  • Dr. Mansel Griffiths
  • Mr. Nyall Hislop
  • Mr. Mike Horwich
  • Mr. Jim McCarthy
  • Dr. Keith Mussar
  • Dr. Paul Paquin
  • Dr. George Paterson
  • Mrs. Francy Pillo-Blocka
  • Dr. Philip Schwab
  • Dr. David Skinner
  • Dr. Rickey Yada

Secretariat

  • Executive Secretary: Dr. Samuel Godefroy

Observers

  • Wendy Atkin
  • Sylvie Cantin
  • Shirley Chalouh
  • Susan Durrell
  • Adam Gibson
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