Canada Revising Food Ingredient Labels

Changes to the nutrition facts table include making the serving size more consistent so it's easier to compare similar foods and also make it realistic so that it reflects the amount that Canadians typically eat in one sitting.

Canada is making changes in the nutrition facts table and list of ingredients on food labels, saying the changes are based on feedback from Canadians and stakeholders and that the food industry will have a transition period of five years to make these changes. Consumers may begin seeing new food labels as early as 2017.

Changes to the nutrition facts table include making the serving size more consistent so it's easier to compare similar foods and also make it realistic so that it reflects the amount that Canadians typically eat in one sitting. Also, the information on serving size and calories will be easier to find and read thanks to a larger font size for serving size and calories and a bold line under the calories information.

The labels will have:

  • revised % daily values based on updated science
  • a new % daily value for total sugars
  • an updated list of nutrients, adding potassium because it's important for maintaining healthy blood pressure and most Canadians are not getting enough of this nutrient, but also removing vitamin A and vitamin C because most Canadians get enough of those nutrients in their diets, according to the government.

There will be amounts in milligrams (mg) for potassium, calcium, and iron and a footnote at the bottom of the table about % daily value to help consumers understand how much sugar and other nutrients (such as sodium) are in their food. It will explain that 5% or less is a little, while 15% or more is a lot.

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