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New Labelling Requirements Coming to Beer

CCA among key stakeholders that called for changes to beer labelling to protect consumers.

Mississauga, ON. May 1, 2019 – The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is lauding the announcement today from Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency that a part of the new compositional standards for beer will be a requirement for allergy labelling including gluten by December 14, 2022.

‘In the past, the powerful beer industry significantly lobbied to preserve its exemption not to be included with other food and beverage labelling standards. This change to labelling is a significant win for consumers who have celiac disease and gluten sensitivities and other food allergens. People must know exactly what ingredients are in the products they consume,” says Melissa Secord, Executive Director for the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA).

“CCA was pleased to be one of the major stakeholders championing this change to beer labelling. Our Professional Advisory Council lead the development of our response and rallied consumers and other groups to join us in this effort.”

CCA has also recently participated in the consultations on proposed changes to vodka standards as it continues to advocate for access to safe foods and better food labelling.

With the start of Celiac Awareness Month, it is positive to see regulators listening to consumers.

“Food allergies, celiac disease and sulphite sensitivity affect approximately 1.75 million Canadians. The labelling changes, which apply the same enhanced food allergen source, gluten source and added sulphite labelling requirements to beer as are already applied to other prepackaged foods, will contribute to the assurance of the health and safety of these consumers and enable informed consumer decisions,” as quoted in the CFIA announcement.

“Health Canada considered various scenarios in which the gluten-source labelling exemption was maintained and noted that under these scenarios, there would be inconsistent labelling among beers that could lead to consumer confusion. A consistent and equitable regulatory regime for the labelling of food allergen sources, gluten sources and added sulphites on all prepackaged foods is considered beneficial for those consumers who must avoid these ingredients,”

The announcement appeared in Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 9 which can be found here.

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