supplemented foods

Health Canada announces new regulations for supplemented foods

Health Canada has announced the introduction of new regulations for supplemented foods aimed at protecting the health and safety of Canadians.

Under the new regulations, all supplemented foods — pre-packaged foods containing one or more added ingredients, such as vitamins, mineral nutrients, amino acids, caffeine or herbal extracts — will display a standardized Supplemented Food Facts table, which includes information on the amount of each supplemental ingredient added.

The table is similar to the Nutrition Facts table that currently helps inform Canadians’ food choices. The intention is to help give people in Canada the information they need to make informed choices about these foods.

Such foods that contain specific ingredients will also require labels to provide information for consumers on the cautions and directions for use related to the supplemented food to see if it is appropriate for them.

Health Canada notes that scientific studies have shown that the ingredients added to supplemented food can be harmful if consumed by vulnerable populations, such as children or pregnant people or if overconsumed by the general population.

To reduce potential health risks, the new regulations also impose strict compositional limits and conditions of use, as well as limits on the types of foods that can be supplemented. For example, food like bread, which is already fortified for public health, would not be considered an appropriate food category to be supplemented.

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Prior to these regulations, manufacturers and distributors had to obtain a Temporary Marketing Authorization (TMA) from Health Canada to sell supplemented food. Supplemented food products already on the market with a TMA or for which a company has submitted an application for a TMA before July 21, 2022, that is subsequently approved by Health Canada will have until January 1, 2026, to comply with these new regulations. New supplemented foods will need to comply immediately.