Canadian Labeling - Peanut Allergy Information

Canadian Labeling

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I have just been reading through some different threads again and something keeps coming up that really bothers me. The spaghetti sauce one, the one about different kinds of flour, the cocoa one. Am I totally unaware, or is it different in Canada? As far as I know, if a spaghetti sauce has an oil in it that is, in fact, peanut oil, it must clearly state so, or it must say "may contain". Flour means regular (wheat?) flour unless it says specifically, for example "almond flour". I really believe our labeling systems are totally different. I'm getting freaked out because I don't read the labels on the spaghetti sauce I buy, but I know I don't have to because it is clearly labeled. Even when buying actual vegetable oil, I have only come across one brand, I forget which one, that said, "may contain peanut oil". Is it because you actually grow peanuts in America and we don't? Our big oil is canola (don't ask me what that is!) because we grow that here.

On Jul 12, 2000

From what I understand there are stricter labelling laws in Canada, but I am not an expert.

On Jul 14, 2000

I had been under the misunderstanding that the "may contain" label was legally required in Canada on foods that were run on a same line as a peanut product had previously been run. I have now learned that this labeling decision is left up to the manufacturer. How totally ignorant of me. At any rate, to find out about Canadian labeling (and American as well) as far as large manufacturers, check out [url=""][/url]


On Sep 19, 2000

Hello Cindy. FYI in 1994 the HPB of Health Canada established a policy allowing a "may contain" statement regarding the possible presence of allergens in foods, to be placed at the end of the list of ingredients on a food label (ie.may contain traces of peanuts). The poicy indicated that such statements were voluntary an should not be used in lieu of adherence to "Good Manufacturing Practices". There was concern about the proliferation of warning statements on food labels unnecessarily. It states that manufactures use such statements judiciously and only as a last option when it is impossible to assure the absence of allergens in a food product. Also at this time there are ingredients and components that are presently exempt from being declared on food labels if they are less than 2% of the product. I never buy a product without calling the supplier/producer first. Everytime I buy a box of something, (even if I have purchased it before) I call. Canadian Food Inspection Agency WebSite (for labeling and food recall info is [url="


Originally" TARGET=_blank>[url][/url][quote]Originally[/url] posted by Cindy Spowart Cook: [b]I had been under the misunderstanding that the "may contain" label was legally required in Canada on foods that were run on a same line as a peanut product had previously been run. I have now learned that this labeling decision is left up to the manufacturer. How totally ignorant of me. At any rate, to find out about Canadian labeling (and American as well) as far as large manufacturers, check out [url=""][/url]



On Sep 20, 2000

The best place to find labelling information for Canada is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency site: [url=""][/url] Here you will find all of the current regulations and what is being proposed and what is happening in terms of lobbying on the international stage. Hope this helps. Take care.

On Oct 30, 2000

Hey there Cindy, I decided today that I am tired of playing the "guessing game" with regard to products being safe or unsafe based on Canadian labeling so I decided to go to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency web site to see if legislation existed to protect people agains contact with "known" potentially fatal allergens. The Act contains alot of information on the weight and size of packaged foods, including the monetary penalty should the law be broken but I failed to see any indication (altough I am NOT a lawyer...LOL) that known allergens must be declared. So as a PO's mommy, I fired off a letter (copy attached) to let them know what a grave problem this is and that they should be ammending things to protect allergic individuals. Not that I expext a responce, this is the Canadian Government after all, but mayby if more of us let them know that we're not prepared to take this lax attitude anymore, they may actually do something about it!


Katiee (Wade's mom)

Here's the letter I sent!

I am the parent of a peanut/nut allergic two year old boy. I am trying to determine, for the sake of my son's well being, weather or not manufacturers in Canada or manufacturers of foods imported to Canada are required by law to indicate in their labeling the presence of peanuts and/or nuts? I ask this because it is of my son's severe (anaphylactic) allergy. As a parent I am making every attempt to protect him from another serious and potentially life threatening reaction. I diligently read each and every food label to check for the presence of peanuts and/or nuts. However, if the manufacturers are not required to declare the presence of peanuts and/or nuts, no amount of care and consideration on my part will protect my son from harm. If, as I suspect, manufacturers are not required by law to declare the presence of potentially known "fatal" allergens, I can only ask why not? It seems to me that we require the manufacturers to be truthful with regard to product size, to the point where penalties can be levied? Would the fact that the presence of peanuts and/or nuts could cause someone to die not be viewed with equal (greater)importance? I have been advised that peanut may be hidden in products in such things as hydrolyzed plant protein or HPP, seasonings as well as natural flavors. Am I correct in assuming this to be correct? I would appreciate some indication of where we stand with regard to labeling laws in Canada. For my family, it's a matter of life and death. Regards, Kathleen Theriault [email][/email]

On Nov 4, 2000

I am posting a verbatim copy of the Canadian regulations about component labelling. This applies to natural flavourings and vegetable oils etc. in Canada only and is different than in the U.S. It appears to me that we are protected by these labelling regulations from hidden allergens in these products. Canadian Food Inspection Agency Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising

Section II: Basic Labelling Requirements Annex 4 Sections 2.1 - 2.15 | Annex 1 | Annex 2 | Annex 3 | Annex 4


Component Declarations

Preparations Exempt from a Component Declaration [FDR B.01.009(2)] The following table lists food preparations and mixtures which, when used as ingredients in other foods, are exempt from a declaration of their components (except for the components listed in the following tables b) and c).


Preparations and mixtures

food colour preparations flavouring preparations artificial flavouring preparations spice mixtures seasoning or herb mixtures vitamin preparations mineral preparations food additive preparations rennet preparations food flavour-enhancer preparations compressed, dry, active or instant yeast preparations


Components of Preparations Which Must Always Be Declared [FDR B.01.009(3)] The following substances, when present in the preparations and mixtures listed in table a) above must always be shown by their common names in the list of ingredients of the food to which the preparation or mixture is added, as if they were ingredients of that food.


salt glutamic acid or its salts, includes monosodium glutamate (MSG) hydrolysed plant protein aspartame potassium chloride any ingredient or component that performs a function in, or has any effect on, that food


Components of Foods which Must Always Be Declared [FDR B.01.009(4)] The following foods, which when present in the foods listed in Annex 3 and the preparations and mixtures listed in table a) above, must always be listed by name in the list of ingredients:


peanut oil hydrogenated peanut oil modified peanut oil


Date issued: 25/03/96 Canadian Food Inspection Agency

[This message has been edited by Kathryn (edited November 04, 2000).]

On Nov 5, 2000

Kathyrn, what a wonderful, informative post! Thanks so much for typing it all out for all of us. Best wishes! [img][/img]


On Mar 20, 2001

Here is another great list of the regulations on Canadian 1998 labeling initiatives. I'm still looking for something more up-to-date, but this is a good starting point. It's called:

Proposed Labelling of Foods Causing Severe Adverse Reactions in Canadians

A Report by a joint Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada Committee

March 31, 1998


[This message has been edited by Cayley's Mom (edited March 20, 2001).]

On Apr 7, 2001

Please see my post in Take Action as the investigative work done in 1998 and 1999 is finally about to result in legislation. Now is the time to keep the pressure on our Health Minister so that we get the labelling laws we need.

On Apr 7, 2001

Kathyrn, excellent! I'll be going to that thread directly. It's good to see you in the Action part of the board. You're really much needed.

Best wishes! [img][/img]


On Apr 21, 2001

Up to 3 million Americans suffer from peanut or tree nut allergy. My 6 year old son heart was broken today, I told him he could no longer eat Kit Kat Bars or Smarties after Jan. 2002. He cried........ [img][/img] I did not expect that, he tolerates not eating lots of other things. These were special for him. I must tell you I am crying as I write this. Nestle's need to take a look at the numbers and remember these people will no longer buy their products. BRAINSTORM! Open a plant that is nut free for Us, I'll bet if you had a catalog and emailed it or mail out you would have a great catalog business and the word would spread. Charge just a little more.. I would pay for my son to have something safe and special to eat. Manufacturers just seem to want to cover their rear ends. I believe the want for peanuts have slowed down in the past 10 yrs not the need for more. However, the price of peanuts may be less and you know the power of a buck! We are all in this together, hang in there. Lana [Quote] Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. Ovid[Publius Ovidius Naso]43 B.C.-18 AD

On Apr 21, 2001

We are all still in SHOCK over the decision that Nestle has made.

One of the suggestions by the Anaphylaxis Network was that we should also have are children write letters to Nestle! If they are too young to write, a descriptive pictire drawn by the children would suffice.

Nestle needs to know what terrible impact this is having on our community. Urge everyone you know to contact them directly.

I loved your quote.

SOS (Save Our Smarties!))

Katiee (Wade's mom)

On Apr 25, 2001

nonutkid, welcome! Believe me, all of us are terribly shocked and saddened by this. Even though I felt my son took the initial news well, he does keep questioning the decision and I am becoming angrier and angrier with Nestle.

There are many PA parents that are doing wonderful things re this. Katiee above, is an excellent example. She is setting up a website, has sent flyers in to her children's school, etc.

It would be nice to believe that we have a strength in numbers, but I am not clear if that will be enough.

Please see under the Action thread my post about the piece of Nestle propaganda I received from my son's school yesterday. I did post the part that I found propaganda. Apparently more consumers want peanuts/nuts in their chocolate bars! WHAT?

I DON'T THINK SO! I think there is something else going on here that we're not being made aware of. The market is bloody flooded with peanut/nut chocolate bars - perhaps Nestle doesn't manufacture enough of them, that's all.

Best wishes! [img][/img]