OTTAWA (April 1, 2003) - Legislation that would ensure that consumers have important nutrition
information for foods sold in major restaurants and at retail stores will be debated in the House of Commons
on Wednesday April 2, 2003 at 5:30 p.m. The debate will be broadcast live on CPAC.
Bill C-398, An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (food labelling) will help reduce the human
and economic toll of diet-related diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis that
cost the Canadian economy $6.3 billion and as many as 25,000 lives annually. The bill is sponsored by
Liberal MP Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest). If passed, the bill would:
require chain restaurants to post the number of calories in menu items beside prices on menu boards, and,
where menus are used, also the amounts of saturated plus trans fat, and sodium per serving;
require that all fresh meat, poultry and seafood (not just ground meat) sold in stores disclose full nutrition
information required for most other foods by new regulations finalized January 2003; and
require that pre-packaged, multi-ingredient foods show the percentage, by weight, of key ingredients
(especially those relevant to health such as added sugars, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains).
The bill is supported a dozen health and citizens groups, including the National Federation for Seniors
and Pensioners, Community Nutritionists Council of British Columbia, Ontario Society of Nutrition
Professionals in Public Health, Canadian Women's Health Network,, Toronto Food Policy Council, National
Eating Disorder Information Centre, Québec consumer coalition Vive l'Union des consommateurs (formerly
Action Réseau Consommateur), and the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is an independent consumer health advocacy
organization with offices in Ottawa and Washington, D.C. CSPI's Canadian advocacy efforts are
supported by over 100,000 subscribers to the Canadian edition of its Nutrition Action Healthletter.
CSPI does not accept industry or government funding.