Consultation on Proposed Revisions to Reference Amounts in Schedule M of the Food and Drug Regulations - Updating reference amounts to support proposed new serving size guidelines

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The online consultation is now closed.
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Reference amounts represent the amounts of food typically eaten at one sitting, and are set out in  Schedule M of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) for 153 categories of food. Presently, reference amounts are primarily used as the criterion to determine whether the package size of a food requires the nutrition information to be shown for the whole package (single serving package) and as a criterion for nutrient content claims and health claims.

Health Canada's Food Directorate is proposing changes to the reference amounts set out in Schedule M of the FDR. As described in Health Canada's Proposed Serving Size Guidance, Health Canada is proposing that reference amounts be used as the basis for setting the serving size declaration in the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) for multi-serving packages of food. Specifically, two of the three guidelines outlined in the proposed serving size guidance use the reference amount as the basis for determining the serving size declared in the NFt.

The purpose of this consultation document is to outline Health Canada's proposed changes to the reference amounts set out in Schedule M of the FDR, and to solicit feedback from stakeholders.

Consultation Document

How to get Involved

This consultation is open for comment starting July 14, 2014 until September 12, 2014 (60 calendar day period). Comments on Health Canada's Proposed Revisions to Reference Amounts in Schedule M of the Food and Drug Regulations may be submitted in writing by regular mail or electronically at the address indicated below. If you are submitting your comments electronically, please use the title "Proposed Revisions to Reference Amounts" in the subject box of your email.

Food Directorate, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0K9

Email: nut.labelling-etiquetage@hc-sc.gc.ca
Fax: 613-941-6636

Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on September 12, 2014.

Consulting with Canadians

On January 28, 2014, the Minister of Health announced that Health Canada was beginning a process to consult Canadian parents and consumers on ways to improve nutritional information on food labels, in response to a commitment identified in the  2013 Speech from the Throne. The initial phase of this consultative process included a series of roundtable discussions with parents in January, February and March 2014. Canadians were also invited to share their views through an online consultation open between January and April 2014. A What We Heard report has been prepared to provide an overview of the feedback received.

Health Canada is now entering the second phase of consultations which focuses on various technical aspects of the NFt, including this technical consultation on proposed changes to the reference amounts set out in Schedule M of the FDR. Additional proposed changes to the NFt, such as changes to the serving size declaration, Daily Values, core nutrients and format are being consulted on as part of this phase. Input from all of these consultations and earlier feedback from Canadian parents and consumers will be used in conjunction with other data sources in the development of proposed amendments to the nutrition and food labelling regulations.

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