Saturday, March 15, 2008

It’s dinner time. Do you know where your food is coming from?

Under Canada’s antiquated food labelling laws, any food product can be labelled Made in Canada, “as long as 51 per cent of the production costs, including labour, transportation and packaging were incurred in Canada”.

That means that the actual food item itself could be coming from China, Mexico, Guatemala, anywhere, and as long as the cost of repackaging, storing, handling and shipping in Canada exceeds the cost of the food content, it qualifies to have a Made in Canada label stuck on it.

Even if the law is dated, I don’t understand why anyone, at any time, would have felt that a food item not grown and processed here in Canada could ever have been considered as being made in Canada – 51% threshold or not.

However that’s the way it is now, and the regulations need to be changed.


Skinny Dipper said...

I think I saw a CBC Undercurrents segment about labelling. A food item won't say "Made in Canada." It will say "Product of Canada" if 51% of the production costs were incurred in Canada. When I go to the supermarket and I see "Product of Canada," chances are that it ain't Canadian grown or produced from a Canadian farm or harvested from a Canadian ocean or seacoast.

Gotta love our Canadian oranges, banana, pineapples, and coconuts.

Canajun said...

Thanks. I'll have to check that out, but it's an interesting distinction that most people wouldn't notice.
We are now starting to see Grown in Canada (B.C./Ontario/PEI/etc.) labels on produce at least, but I don't think it's mandatory or regulated in any way.