Written By Julia Schatz and Dominique Hussey
Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are currently seeking feedback on the development of voluntary guidance for providing information for foods that are sold to consumers through e-commerce. While the Safe Food for Canadians regulations and the Food and Drugs Act currently speak to the physical label requirements for food items, they do not address labels in the context of e-commerce. The consultation period, which is open from May 9 until July 8, 2022, seeks to solicit feedback regarding Health Canada's and CFIA's proposal that food information on e-commerce platforms should mirror the information required on a food or beverage product's physical label, including displaying their allergen content on the product information page.
It is worth noting that the proposed e-commerce requirements may go even further than the physical food labeling requirements. Some foods are exempt from providing certain labeling information on the physical label due to a lack of available display surface. These foods would be required to provide the requisite food information on the item's product information page. Health Canada and the CFIA also plan to monitor the availability and accessibility of food information for foods offered for sale through e-commerce platforms.
Health Canada and CFIA are seeking input from a variety of Canadian stakeholders, ranging from individual Canadians to consumer associations and health professionals, in order to inform the development of the guidance. Those interested in participating can share their feedback on this Government of Canada website.