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e-2981 (Consumer protection)

E-petition
Initiated by Kattrina Horner from Eckville, Alberta

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • The food label is one of the most important and direct means of communicating product information between buyers and sellers, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency;
  • In Canada, between 2003 and 2008, participation in ethical consumption increased, and continues to rise, creating a need for better informative labeling;
  • During the coronavirus outbreak, touching multiple items to see if something is made with the use of animals or their secretions is an unnecessary risk for transmission of COVID-19 and would be easily preventable with clear labeling;
  • A list of ingredients that are derived from animals would be too long to list; and
  • Trying to be conscious of the products on the list every time you are purchasing clothing, food, beauty, hygiene, home and auto products can be daunting, and cause many canadians undue stress.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to help better inform canadians of products that are considered to be more ethical by having mandatory labeling to tell consumers that a product was made with the use of animals or their secretions.

Response by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, PC, MP

All food products, whether domestic or imported, must comply with Canada’s safety and labelling laws. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has taken measures to protect Canada’s food safety system and supply lines during the pandemic.

As Canada’s largest science-based agency, CFIA works with other governments, industry, science, academia and the global community to share accurate, science-based information about COVID-19.

There is currently no scientific evidence that food or food packaging is a likely source or route of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Canadian federal regulations require most prepackaged foods to be labelled with specific information to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. This includes the name of the food, ingredients list, nutritional information, best-before dating, net quantity, and company name and address.

CFIA also permits companies to make voluntary claims about their food, including claims related to a food’s composition and quality. This allows companies to identify their products as suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet by adding words or symbols to the label. While the decision to identify products in this way is voluntary, it is important to note that all labelling must be truthful and not misleading.

In addition, CFIA updated its guidance on vegetarian and vegan claims in the last year in recognition of the increased interest in plant-based foods and use of the term “vegan.” This update will help to better clarify for companies and consumers that vegan foods are made from only plant-based ingredients. This can facilitate clearer identification of foods that have only plant-based ingredients by consumers.

If you are interested in seeing more vegan/vegetarian declarations on food products, you are encouraged to contact companies directly, because it is their decision whether to include this information.

 

You can read CFIA guidance on vegetarian and vegan claims on the Agency’s website at www.inspection.gc.ca/food-label-requirements/labelling/industry/composition-and-quality-claims/eng/1391025998183/1391026062752?chap=2#s5c2.

You can find general information on food labelling in Canada on the Agency’s website at www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-consumers/eng/1400426541985.

Open for signature
December 3, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
January 2, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York)
February 26, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00575)
Government response tabled
April 12, 2021
Photo - Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Beaches—East York
Liberal Caucus
Ontario
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