Statement from Anaphylaxis Canada in response to Minister of Health's announcement on food labelling

TORONTO, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - After two decades of tireless advocacy by thousands of Canadians, our organization is very pleased to see the passage of important new regulations that will make food ingredient labels easier to understand. However, we are very disappointed by the federal government's decision to alter the regulations as proposed and provide a special exemption to the brewery industry.

Anaphylaxis Canada is proud to stand with the national medical body for allergy, other patient groups and close to 70% of Canadians who recognize a fundamental principle: all Canadians have a right to know if there is an ingredient in their food or beverages that can harm them.

For the millions of Canadians with food allergies or celiac disease, this knowledge can be the difference between life and death.

The political decision to deviate from this principle by allowing a last minute exemption for the brewery industry - against the advice of medical experts, consumer and health advocates and the government's own departmental advisors - defies logic and raises serious questions about the credibility of its public consultation process.

The federal government can still demonstrate that it is serious about protecting public health by quickly convening a meeting with the brewery industry, patient groups and medical and health policy experts to resolve this outstanding issue.

Our organization will continue to advocate for clear and fair labelling rules for the brewery industry and will advise our members to call individual beer companies for ingredient information should they have questions before purchasing a product. And we encourage all Canadians to learn more about what is in their beer products by visiting www.whatsinyourbeer.ca.

We thank those Members of Parliament who have been vocal in their support of this issue, Health Canada staff for their professionalism, other industry groups that consulted in good faith and are prepared to abide by the new regulations and our community partners for their efforts in this campaign. Finally, we thank the countless Canadians, some of whom have overcome personal tragedy to be leaders in this effort, for supporting clear and fair food and beverage labelling rules.

SOURCE Anaphylaxis Canada

For further information:

Christopher Holcroft             
Empower Consulting for Anaphylaxis Canada         
416-996-0767/ Chris_Holcroft@yahoo.com
Anne-Marie Flanagan
416-735-3690/ amflan@sympatico.ca

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