Canada’s food sector needs modernization: report

9/6/2011

A Conference Board of Canada report says that regulations and conflicting government involvement hinder innovation and economic growth in the food sector.

The Governing Food: Policies, Laws and Regulations for Food in Canada report was prepared for the Centre for Food in Canada, and looks at the policies and regulations in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system.

Regulations governing food in Canada are currently too complex and involve multiple levels of government that are sometimes at odds with one another, say says the report.

Six issues were addressed in the report: food additives, genetically modified foods, health benefit claims, country-of-origin labeling, inspection, and international trade.

In the areas of health benefit claims, inspection and international grade, the report found barriers to innovation, specifically it calls on modernizing the Food and Drugs Act that was enacted in 1920.

To allow for more innovation, the report suggests moving towards an outcome-based approach and more partnership between government and industry.

Some 25 companies and organizations have invested in the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Food in Canada initiative.

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