Ottawa is launching public consultations on planned new packaging rules to promote healthier eating habits.
Health Canada wants to introduce a front-of-package nutrition symbol that will alert shoppers to items high in sodium, sugars, or saturated fat.
The symbol will be required for foods that meet or exceed certain thresholds. For pre-packaged foods and foods for children between one and four, the threshold is 15 per cent of the recommended daily amount of the three ingredients. For pre-packaged meals, it’s 30 per cent.
Ottawa also plans to amend the rules for nutrient content claims such as "no sugar added." Currently, it says, such claims can be confusing – for example, the “no sugar added” claim on fruit juice, which is naturally high in sugar and would require a warning symbol.
Health Canada estimates about half of all food packages will require the labeling.
The consultations run until April 26. Once regulations are enacted, food manufacturers will have until December 2022 to introduce the new labeling.