Health claims on foods in Canada

J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1221S-7S. doi: 10.1093/jn/138.6.1221S.


Interest in the health effects of foods by both industry and consumers has put a spotlight on the role of health claims on foods in Canada. The current regulatory framework governing the use of different health claims on foods in Canada is described and compared with international approaches. Similarities were observed in how risk-reduction claims for serious diseases are managed in the United States, European Union and proposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, including the need for premarket authorization and the requirement for a high level of certainty based on the totality of evidence in substantiating this type of claim. However, approaches to permitting function claims other than those for the well-established functions of known nutrients are divergent among the jurisdictions compared. Canada also differs from other jurisdictions in not establishing core nutritional criteria for foods carrying disease risk-reduction claims. A brief overview of the status in Canada of a number of disease risk-reduction claims that have been approved in the United States, based on significant scientific agreement under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act or through authoritative statements under the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act, is also provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Food Labeling / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Food Labeling / standards*
  • Food, Organic / standards*
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Food
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena