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2012 Gluten Free Canadian Labeling Law

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My nutritionist informed me of this a few days ago. I'm sure some of you already know but heres a little info for those that dont.

Manufacturers will have until August 4th, 2012

The goal of the new labeling law is for allergens & gluten to be always declared; even if they are part of an ingredient. The specific labeling law for gluten is:

it is prohibited to label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten free food if the food contains any gluten protein or modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, referred to in the definition of "gluten" in subsection.....

The end result is that all labels are to declare gluten in four ways:

1. Rye, Wheat, Spelt, Kamut etc - the common name of the gluten ingredient must be labeled in the ingredient list

2. Rye (wheat), Spelt (wheat), Kamut (wheat) - using Rye as an example, the label must inform the consumer that rye is a derivative of wheat.

3. Wheat starch, Modified wheat starch, Hydrolized wheat protein etc - "the common name of starch, modified starch and hydrolized plant protein will have to include the name of the plant it was made from."{Source: Canadian Celiac Association, Celiac News: Volume 25, Issue 1, Spring 2011}

4. seasoning, flavourings and spices can no longer contain hidden gluten - the label will state "seasoning (wheat)" or "Contains Wheat"

According to the Celiac Association, exemptions from this labeling include:

Alcohol

Individually sold candy

Vinegar

Items packaged from bulk on retail premises

Individual food portions {e.g., packets of ketchup, crackers, etc} or food sold in vending machines

Anything made by a retailer on premises (e.g., bbq meat, roast chicken, etc)

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it is prohibited to label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten free food if the food contains any gluten protein or modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, referred to in the definition of "gluten" in subsection.....

This part is already in effect, and has been for several years, as:

Food and Drug Regulation B.24.018

No person shall label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is gluten-free unless the food does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye or triticale or any part thereof.

The new rules update what is currently in effect:

Allergic reactions: To assist consumers in avoiding the potentially serious consequences of allergic and sensitivity reactions to foods, the CFIA requires the inclusion of the following foods or their derivatives in food label ingredient lists when present as ingredients or components, even in those cases where these ingredients are otherwise exempted from declaration:

peanuts;

tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts [filberts], macadamia nuts, pecans, pinenuts, pistachios, walnuts);

sesame seeds;

milk;

eggs;

fish, crustaceans (e.g., crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp) and shellfish (e.g., clams, mussels, oysters, scallops);

soy;

wheat, and

sulphites

More here.

The new rules improve on an already very good set of rules, by expanding the list to include rye, oats, barley and mustard seeds. (Hidden rye and oats were never a problem.)

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Though sadly none of these rules prevent manufacturers from labelling products as both "gluten free" and "may contain traces of wheat". :angry:

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