Category Archives: Labelling

Increased Transparency – The Future of Ontario Menus?

A new Bill introduced in Ontario could change the face of restaurant menus and menu boards.  If passed, case the Making Healthier Choices Act (love that title!) will require food service premises to display the number of calories of every standard food item sold on the premises.

The proposed legislation will apply to “regulated food service premises”, cheap defined as premises that sell meals for immediate consumption, diagnosis and that belong to a chain with 20 or more Ontario locations.  This includes restaurants, fast-food establishments, convenience stores and grocery stores with 20 or more locations in Ontario. Continue reading

My Thoughts on the Government’s Role in the Fight Against Obesity

Hello readers!  Here’s a post I wrote for Huffington (link to posting here) that I thought you might find interesting

The Huffington PostCanada Continue reading

Best Read Before Dinner

Dear Readers:  I am DELIGHTED to introduce for the Law of Food’s first ever guest blogger:  Patrick Dyke!   Patrick is an articling student at Gilbert’s LLP and is a true regulatory geek at heart, which is why I know you’ll love reading his blogs!  Enjoy.

We’ve all been there.  Staring at an item in the refrigerator, trying to remember when we bought it.  It has been hiding in the back of the fridge for a while, and we’re wondering…is it still good?

If you’re like me you probably rely on any number of tests before making a decision: Smell test? Check.  Does it look “off”? Nope.  But what about that pesky best before date? Continue reading

Getting My Regulatory Geek On – What I Learned at Food Week

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the  FDLI’s Food Week 2013.  I attended two days of the four day conference – the Food Advertising, Labelling and Nutrition day (on Wednesday) and the Food Safety day (on Thursday).  I learned a lot, and met some interesting people with great regulatory practices. Continue reading

The Government’s Policing of Food Advertisements and Labels – the US and Canada

Happy Tuesday!  Thought you might be interested in an article containing some of my thoughts on the Federal Trade Commission’s  policing of food advertising (i.e. POM Wonderful case) and what’s happening in Canada -

In case you don’t feel like clicking away from this site, here’s the text of the article. Enjoy!

Competitive industry may place pressure on bureau Continue reading

Improved Food Allergen Labelling – the Battle and the Reward

Below is my latest blog from the Huffington Post on the soon-to-be-required improved Canadian allergen labeling requirements.  Since posting it, I learned more about the advocacy that went into getting the amended labelling regulations implemented.

Huge kudos to the folks at Allergic Living Magazine, who I understand advocated mightily alongside Anaphylaxis Canada and the Canadian Celiac Association.  In addition to bringing the issue of allergen food labeling to the table, they spurred this letter-writing campaign, resulting in 5,000 Canadians writing directly to Stephen Harper to force action.  This is what Allergic Living’s Editor, Gwen Smith had to say about the frustratingly-long process, just days before the announcement that the new regulations would be passed (the two opening paragraphs made me laugh out loud!). Continue reading

So, What does a Food Lawyer do Anyway?


I recently met with a newly-called lawyer who wanted to ask me about practicing “food law.”

“So, tell me:  what do you do as a food lawyer,” she asked over Starbucks.

She was really motivated and smart, and our conversation got me all re-buzzed about the practice.  I figure I’d try to capture some of my excitement and my super-positive-about-my-career frame of mind into a blog.  Here it is – here’s a little bit about what gets me up and out of the house in the morning (after my first cup of coffee, of course). Continue reading

Update: Proposed Amendments Aimed at Speeding Things Up

As I set out briefly in this earlier post, on April 26th the Government announced amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations which will allow for faster approval of new food additives and substantiated health claims.

At the time, I promised a more fulsome blog providing the details of the amendments; here it is.

The proposed amendments (presented in Bill C-38, amazingly titled “an Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget Tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and Other Measures – say that 5 times fast!) really break down to two things:  Marketing Authorizations (“MAs”) and Incorporation by Reference (“IbR”).  According to Health Canada, these tools will reduce delays, cut red tape and make the food regulatory system more efficient and flexible.  Hallelujah!! Continue reading

POM Wonderful? Looks like the FTC doesn’t think so…


Earlier this week, recipe a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Administrative Law Judge upheld a FTC complaint against the makers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements.  The FTC complaint was made back in September of 2010 as part of the agency’s “ongoing efforts to uncover over-hyped health claims in food advertising”. Continue reading

Food Fraud

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about when it comes to deciding what food to eat, you can add another concern to the list:  fake food.  Yup, you read me right:  fake food!

This phenomenon, known as “food fraud” refers to food that is somehow changed or mislabelled with the intention of deceiving the consumer for financial gain.  According to a recent Huffington Post article, food fraud is part of a growing trend of faking out consumers. Continue reading