Centre for Science in the Public Interest

For the Record

CSPI Centre for Science in the Public Interest
Centre pour la science dans l’intérêt public

September 29, 1999

Mr. Allan Rock, M.P., P.C.
Minister of Health
Room 441-S, Centre Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Rock:

     We are writing to draw your attention to the results of the public consultation on nutrition labelling conducted by Health Canada. In brief, there was near-unanimous support for mandatory nutrition labelling from individual consumers as well as from 130 health, consumer and educational organizations that submit comments. In addition, submission from the provincial governments of Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, and municipal health authorities in Toronto and Ottawa-Carleton strongly favoured a mandatory nutrition labelling system.

     We were also delighted to see considerable support for mandatory nutrition labelling from the food industry. Surprisingly, nearly half of the food industry comments that addressed the issue supported, or at least did not oppose, a mandatory requirement for nutrition labelling.

     This growing agreement among all stakeholders, including the food industry, in support of mandatory nutrition labelling sets a clear direction for action by Health Canada on this vital public health matter. We remain convinced that the government should support amendments to the Food and Drugs Act to require nutrition labelling on all foods. A legislative amendment would give this important public health measure the stature it deserves and provide Health Canada with a mandate to complete its consultation in a timely manner.

     We appreciate this opportunity to present our views and wish to offer our assistance to work toward a final resolution of this matter.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Jeffery, L.LB.
Public Policy Analyst

CSPI is an independent consumer health organization, specializing in nutrition and food safety, that is funded in Canada by more than 135,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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