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Mandatory Pre-Market Registration of Labels Rule Repealed

09 May 2013

CANADA - Canada’s meat processing industry has applauded the Canadian Government’s decision that Meat Inspection Regulation 110 be repealed.

The decision, first announced in Budget 2012, reached a conclusion this week through publication in the May 8 edition of Canada Gazette Part II.

The Canadian Meat Council said the regulation wasunnecessary, bureaucratic and discriminatory.  

It required that federally registered establishments obtain pre-market registration of labels for prepared meat products.

“Pre-market registration of labels is not a food safety issue. Label pre-approval by someone located in an office in Ottawa for a product processed elsewhere does not ensure the product is safe. What is a food safety issue is assurance that the ingredients declared on the label - whether or not the label is pre-registered – are consistent with the formulation used to manufacture the product,” said Canadian Meat Council President Ray Price.

“The termination of pre-market label registration will permit the redirection of resources toward activities that really do enhance food safety,” Mr Price added.

Under the new approach, Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors located in establishments in which prepared meats are being manufactured will have oversight responsibility for verifying that meat processors maintain conformity with both  product formulation and label requirements.

“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirement for pre-market label approval of some food products has been discriminatory, time-consuming and costly. Labelling rules should be consistent for the entire food sector,” said Canadian Meat Council  Executive Director Jim Laws.

“The process of obtaining a label registration number from the CFIA delayed the release of new or reformulated items, such as sodium-reduced prepared meat products, for periods of between one and two months,” added Mr Laws.

Processed meat and processed fruits and vegetables were the only food sectors subject to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirement to pre-register pre-packaged product labels prior to marketing. Although other food products such as dairy, honey, bakery, egg, fish, etc. are subject to labelling regulations, they have not required premarket registration. Similarly, provincially inspected meat processors have not required pre-market registration for their products.

As is the case for other food products, prepared meats will continue to be subject to all of the applicable provisions of the Food and Drug Regulations, the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, including a prohibition on misleading claims and a requirement that all allergens be declared.



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