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What’s New in the Regulatory World of Food: Enhancing Openness and Transparency at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Reading Time 3 minute read

Life Sciences Bulletin

Significant changes to the food regulatory landscape, including the Food Labelling Modernization Initiative and the recent finalization of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations[1] are part of the CFIA's continued efforts to strengthen Canada's food safety system, enable industry to innovate, create greater market access opportunities for Canadian food products, and assist consumers in making informed purchasing decisions.

Enhancing Openness and Transparency

Last week, the CFIA announced that it intends to refresh its approach to openness and transparency in order to maintain trust in Canada's regulatory system for food, plants and animals. The CFIA stated that it will proactively release more information about its regulatory and scientific activities, decisions, programs and services in useful, timely, and accessible formats, while also appropriately protecting personal and confidential information.

To support this initiative, the CFIA is inviting Canadians, industry, consumer associations and other stakeholders to participate in a consultation by sharing their thoughts on how and where the CFIA should increase openness and transparency.

Key Questions For the Consultative Process Will Include

  • How can the CFIA provide Canadians with more useful, timely and accessible information about food safety, animal health and plant protection to help them make informed decisions?
  • Which additional information and tools could the CFIA provide to help industry comply with regulatory requirements?
  • How can the CFIA share more information about its compliance and enforcement activities?
  • What can the CFIA do to help stakeholders and the public learn more about regulatory science, and have access to research and information from CFIA scientists?

How Can I Participate?

Participants may share their ideas and comments by completing an online survey, participating in a 60-minute webinar session, email, mail, Twitter or Facebook.

Input gathered from the consultative process will be analyzed and used to improve the Proposed Open and Transparent Agency Framework 2018-2021 which is part of the CFIA's commitment to provide useful, timely and accessible information to Canadians to allow them to better understand how and why the CFIA's regulatory decisions are made, and to ultimately use the information to make well-informed choices for themselves, their families and businesses.

To learn more about how you can share your thoughts and comments regarding the CFIA's initiative, click here. The comment period is open until August 2, 2018.


[1] The regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II  ("CGII") and are scheduled to come into force on January 15, 2019. The period between the publication of the regulations in CGII and coming into force, will give businesses time to prepare for the new requirements, including import/export licensing, traceability and preventive controls. Some requirements will need to be met immediately upon coming into force, while others will be phased in over a period of 12-30 months based on food commodity, type of activity and business size.


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