As we head into the New Year, our Regulatory Affairs team is striving to keep our clients up to date on all current Canadian and international regulatory initiatives which may impact their business. In this regard, we have put together a shortlist of key topics to keep an eye out for as we head into 2018.
With respect to NHPs (Natural Health Products) and Foods, the following developments will be important to watch:
NNHPD’s proposed Self-Care Framework
Health Canada’s Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) actively consulted the Canadian NHP industry on its Proposed Self-Care Framework during 2016-2017. This Proposal, which aims to regulate self-care products under one regulatory “umbrella”, has the potential to impact both the regulation and claims for low-risk health products, including NHPs, cosmetics and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
How Health Canada will define future “standards of evidence” for NHP claims continues to be an important topic of debate associated with the Proposal, as does the status of existing NPNs in the Canadian marketplace.
Source will keep a close watch on this important issue, and will continue to participate in industry consultations as they are made available.
Health Products at the Food-NHP Interface
In December of 2017, Health Canada took further steps to transition health products at the Food-NHP Interface. As a continuation of an ongoing regulatory initiative stemming from early 2010, up to 100 approved NHPs from 15 Canadian NHP companies have been identified by the government to be reclassified, resulting in a mandatory transition to the food regulatory framework.
Impacted products include supplemented food-type products, including confectionary products, pre-packaged drinks and bars, as well as certain powdered products.
This is an important regulatory development, as the regulatory classification of a health product impacts not only its packaging compliance but its ability to make claims. If you are an impacted Canadian company, and you feel you require support to transition through the re-classification process, connect with Source today.
Proposed Front-of-Pack Labelling Initiative
Can you tell if a food is healthy just by looking the front of its packaging? Do you know if your favourite Canadian pre-packaged foods are high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat? Due to pending regulatory changes, this may be easier to do in the near future! In 2017, Health Canada proposed new front-of-package (FOP) labelling, which (if implemented) would make identifying key nutrition information on pre-packaged foods easier to do.
Stemming from Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, the proposed FOP labelling would focus on three specific nutrients of public health concern: sodium, sugar and saturated fat. These nutrients have been associated with increased risk of various chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
The proposed FOP labelling is being considered to help consumers better identify foods high in these nutrients of health concern when making retail point-of-sale decisions, with a goal of helping encourage healthy consumer choices.