Canada

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations require the specific declaration of peanut oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated peanut oil and modified peanut oil, wherever they are present, whether they are added as such or are components of ingredients.

In 1998, the labelling of foodstuffs that cause severe reactions in certain individuals was the subject of a review by a joint committee from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada. The Canadian authorities have recognised the importance to consumers of labelling those ingredients most likely to elicit adverse and abnormal reactions. With this in mind, they have put forward recommendations that the list of foods that must be specifically listed in foodstuffs is increased to include peanuts, named tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, fish, named crustaceans and shellfish, soya, wheat and sulphites. This list has subsequently been endorsed by the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and other interested parties, and the publication of a proposed regulation regarding the labelling of sulphites is expected in the near future.

The joint committee has also reviewed the present labelling requirements for foods derived from plants and recommends that the plant source of hydrolysed plant proteins, starches, modified starches and lecithin should be included, in their common name, in the list of ingredients. Such identification would prevent the unnecessary dietary restriction of individuals who are sensitive to specific plant species.

The federal government has also developed a precautionary labelling policy, to allow manufacturers voluntarily to label products that may inadvertently contain substances capable of causing severe adverse reactions.

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