Forward Regulatory Plan 2021-2023: Modernize food regulations to enable innovative and safe foods for Canadians
Title of Regulatory Initiative
Modernize food regulations to enable innovative and safe foods for Canadians
Food and Drugs Act
The structure of the current food regulations can prevent industry from bringing safe and innovative products to market due to either out-of-date regulations or lack of a regulatory structure to permit new products.
Health Canada proposes to address this issue by modernizing the regulations for foods under the Food and Drugs Act through an incremental process that will first address the following priority areas:
- Creating a regulatory framework to enable continued use of Human Milk Fortifiers (HMFs). HMFs are foods that are added to human milk to increase its nutritional value to meet the particular needs of infants born prematurely or of term infants as medically required;
- Modernizing the regulations for microbiological safety criteria and methods of analysis to facilitate timelier and efficient revisions in response to emerging science and technology;
- Streamlining food additive provisions, and
- Establishing a new regulatory framework for supplemented foods to mitigate potential risks associated with their consumption.
These priority areas will be integrated into a broader initiative to implement a modernized and redesigned architecture for the food regulations under the Act.
This regulatory initiative was identified by Health Canada in the Agri-food and Aquaculture Sector Regulatory Review Roadmap.
This regulatory initiative is associated with Health Canada's stock review plan.
Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
Health Canada will conduct international scans to align proposed approaches with key regulatory cooperation partners as appropriate.
Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses
Creating a food regulatory system that is more responsive to advances in technology, changing science, and consumer preference would provide greater clarity and predictability for industry. It would allow them to bring products to market in a timely manner and ensure that food regulations are kept up to date and relevant.
Consultations on Human Milk Fortifiers:
- Health Canada has consulted with stakeholders on the development of a regulatory framework for human milk fortifiers from 2011 to 2014
- Further pre-consultations with stakeholders were undertaken throughout fall 2019 and early 2020 as well as additional targeted consultations on draft regulatory language in early fall 2020
- Health Canada is seeking to formalize a regulatory framework for human milk fortifiers in spring 2021
Consultations on Health Canada's microbiological criteria for foods, scientific methods of analysis and food additive related changes:
- Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I, public comment period, which is expected to take place in fall 2021.
Consultations on Supplemented Foods:
- Health Canada held pre-consultations with stakeholders on the proposed regulatory framework for supplemented foods ahead of pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part l. These pre-consultations took place in fall 2020.
In addition, Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I, public comment period, which is expected to take place in spring 2021.
Additional information can be requested from the departmental contact.
Departmental contact information
Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization
Policy, Planning and International Affairs Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan
June 7, 2019
Consult Health Canada's acts and regulations web page for:
- a list of acts and regulations administered by Health Canada
- further information on Health Canada's implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives
Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:
To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:
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