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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:05 pm 
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Health Canada Updating Proposal for Food Allergen Regulatory Amendments Based on Consultation Results

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2009) - In July 2008, Health Canada published in Canada Gazette, Part I proposed regulatory amendments for the labelling of food allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites. The department has now reviewed the comments received and is publishing documents detailing some of the changes being made to the proposal as a result of the consultations.

As a result of the over 140 comments received up until early December 2008 following the publication of the proposed regulatory amendment in Canada Gazette, Part I in July 2008, Health Canada has made several decisions and changes to its regulatory proposal to address concerns raised by stakeholders and Canadian consumers. These include:

- The development of Canadian criteria for the establishment of new priority food allergens;

- The decision to add mustard as a priority allergen in the regulations based on this criteria document;

- The decision to not add onions and garlic to the list of priority allergens in the regulations based on this criteria document; and

- The decision to remove the proposed exemptions of declaration for fining agents and wax coatings on the labels of pre-packaged food products.

The department is now working on updating the regulatory proposal to reflect these decisions and other comments received during the consultations in order to move forward in the regulatory process. The goal is to have the updated regulations published in the Canada Gazette Part II in the spring of 2010.

The current Food and Drug Regulations require that ingredients of food products be declared on the labels of most prepackaged foods. However, components of certain ingredients are exempted from declaration in the list of ingredients. While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency does have the ability to recall foods exempted from the labelling requirements if a health risk is identified with undeclared allergens, the strengthened labelling regulations will provide manufacturers with clear labelling rules for allergens to be followed in a systematic and consistent manner, aimed at reducing the number of food recalls and allergic reactions.

It is estimated that up to six per cent of young children and three to four per cent of adults suffer from food allergies. Nearly one per cent of the population is affected by celiac disease, a serious sensitivity to gluten.

Health Canada will continue to update Canadians on the progress of this file as the regulatory proposal moves forward. Please visit the Health Canada website for a summary of the consultation results (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiq ... xa-eng.php), as well as information on how Health Canada will be addressing some of the most significant comments.

For more information on food allergies, please visit:

Health Canada's Food Allergy and Intolerances Page ( www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodallergies )

Health Canada's Allergen Labelling Page ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiq ... dex_e.html )

Health Canada's Celiac Disease Page ( www.healthcanada.gc.ca/celiac )

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Earlier articles on the topic:

- Our June 09 newsletter: http://www.allergicliving.com/eletters.asp?copy_id=275

- July 08 announcement: http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=187

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:17 pm 
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A reminder of the existing priority allergens:

From the Can. Food Inspection Agency:

In Canada, the priority food allergens are peanuts; the following tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts), sesame seeds; milk; eggs; fish (including crustaceans (e.g. crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp) and shellfish (e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops), soy; wheat; and sulphites. These priority allergens have been shown to account for more than 90% of severe adverse reactions related to food allergens.

Priority Food Allergens in Canada

* Peanuts
* Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
* Sesame Seeds
* Milk
* Eggs
* Fish, Crustaceans, Shellfish
* Soy
* Wheat
* Sulphites

When are priority food allergens required to be declared?

See: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fss ... rgee.shtml

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:32 pm 
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The fining agents and wax coatings part re eggs, fish and milk is also interesting.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiq ... pt-eng.php

For me, it raises some questions, though.
Let us know what questions you have, too.

Our Senior Editor will try to get all of this in simpler English for the Winter issue of the magazine, and some of it into the next e-letter, too.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:19 am 
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FYI, we're interviewing Health Canada and are going to explain a lot what this all mean in the October E-report. (With more details in the Winter magazine.)

If you haven't signed up for the E-letter yet, you can do so for free here: http://www.allergicliving.com/eletter_index.asp

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:17 am 
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Quote:
The development of Canadian criteria for the establishment of new priority food allergens;

- The decision to add mustard as a priority allergen in the regulations based on this criteria document;


What is the criteria and why not add corn? I have heard from many members who are allergic to corn but few that are allergic to mustard.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:52 am 
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Re: fining agents...our daughter has reacted to wine vinegar. I made a salad and this was the only ingredient that she had not had before.

I would love to give her balsamic vinegar but am not sure if it's OK. Commercial balsamic vinegars can be clairifed using egg shells but artisian balsamic vinegar is supposed to be egg shell free.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:08 pm 
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Susan,

Did you see Claire's new FAQ on the site (was linked from yesterday's E-letter)?
http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=316

Discusses alcohol and I'm pretty sure vinegar is supposed to be part of that removed exemption. e.g. manus would now have to show priority allergen ingreds in vinegar, too.

Will see Health Can experts at AAIA conf. tomorrow in St. Catharines. I'll ask about vinegars to try to clarify.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Taken from Claire's FAQ:
Quote:
Q. Why was mustard added as a priority allergen?

A. Health Canada published proposed labeling regulations in July of 2008. At that time, the public was allowed to comment and suggest changes. More than 140 comments were received, and some were from people asking for mustard to be considered a priority allergen. Some people also requested that onions and garlic be added to the list.

After the comments were received, Health Canada developed criteria by which foods can be evaluated to see if they should be priority allergens. This criteria says that when evaluating a potential priority allergen, Health Canada will look at the severity of reactions to the food, the data available on the prevalence of the allergen, as well as potential exposure to the food in Canada.

In the case of mustard, there wasn’t a lot of evidence to show that mustard allergy was widespread, however those who were allergic to it had severe reactions, and mustard itself is grown in Canada and widely used in packaged foods.

In the case of onions and garlic, it was found that reactions to those foods were less severe, and there was minimal risk of exposure to hidden garlic and onion.


What?? No body asked about corn? :shock:
I find that hard to believe! I'm not disputing the mustard allergen and I'm sure this will help a loy of people (they can't just lump it in with spices). I see a lot more traffic on the corn forum that I see articles related to mustard in this whole site.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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