Feds seeking input regarding additional regulations for plant-based foods in Canada

 

Have you noticed more restaurants are unveiling plant-based menu options?

With a rise in the number of people seeking meatless meal options--whether it's due to health-reasons, or lifestyle reasons--many well-known restaurants and grocery stores are adding meatless meal options to their menus.

According to a news release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), 40 per cent of Canadians are actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet.

In order to help protect Canadians, the federal government is working to provide greater clarity for industry and consumers on the regulations that apply to these products.

As of November 3, the CFIA is launching a consultation on proposed updates to guidelines for industry on simulated meat, simulated poultry products and certain plant-based protein foods.

Additionally, the CFIA is encouraging both industry and consumers to provide their input regarding these measures before December 3.

The CFIA’s current guidelines for simulated meat and simulated poultry products apply to products that are made to resemble meat or poultry products--such as plant-based burgers made to look like beef burgers by using ingredients that simulate the red colour or fat marbling effect of animal-sourced meat.

However, the CFIA has recognized the need to update the guidelines to include food products that are plant-based proteins, which aren't intended to resemble or substitute a meat or poultry product--such as tofu burgers or soy patties.

Further, the proposed updates to the guidelines are intended to clarify what constitutes simulated meat or poultry products in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulations and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

“The growth in Canada’s plant-based foods industry indicates the need for clearer guidelines to better support industry in their understanding and application of regulatory requirements," Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said in the release.

"We’re working to bring that clarity which includes a better understanding of consumers’ views and needs to allow them to make more informed food choices," she continued.

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