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Developing a Custom Food Formula? Read This First

Developing a Custom Food Formula? Read This First

Are You Aware of What it Takes to Develop Safe Custom Food Products?

What is the Safe Food for Canadians Act?

It’s a piece of law that was enacted in 2012 to protect Canadian consumers. The Act provides regulations for custom food formulas and other edible products.

The goal of the Act is to:

  • Make edibles that are sold in Canada as safe as possible
  • Protect consumers by cracking down on food management practices deemed unsafe
  • Enables companies endangering the public to face harsher punishments
  • Makes it possible to control imports better
  • Enhances how easily we can trace our food
  • Standardizes the inspection standards for foods

Read more about the Act on the government’s site.

Does Canada have an FDA?

Canada has three core regulatory bodies that perform the same function as the FDA does in the United States.

The Department of Health Canada is responsible for setting the stands and regulations for custom food formulas and other edible products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for enforcing the rules that the Department of Health implements.

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada agency is responsible for new products entering the market.

Who is responsible for food safety in Canada?

Ultimately, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the enforcement arm of the Department of Health. As a business, you’d have to deal with inspections from the CFIA.

Read more about the importance of these regulations and inspections here.

How is food regulated in Canada?

If you’re researching the regulations for custom food formulas, you’ll need to deal with the three agencies.

Health Canada sets the standards that companies must meet. These include food safety standards and the nutritional quality of foods. The Food Directorate operates under the umbrella of Health Canada.

The directorate is responsible for investigating the benefits and risks associated with the different food products. It follows strict scientific guidelines in reviewing the benefits and risks. Using this research, it helps Health Canada to set the standards.

The CFIA will be responsible for enforcing the regulations. They’ll be the ones knocking on your door to conduct food safety inspections. They also regulate the advertising, labelling, and packaging of food products.

Let’s say that you’re manufacturing a food supplement, for example. This agency will come knocking on your door if you make bogus claims or use unsafe packaging.

To get your supplement approved, you’ll need to apply to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. They’re quite a helpful agency, so it’s a good idea to work with them from the development stage. They’ll help you ensure that your product meets regulatory standards.

Final Notes

All these agencies work together to ensure that the food provided to Canadians is safe. Their work entails regulating the production process and everything that impacts the food. The packaging must be secure and must adequately protect the food.

Companies may not make unproven claims about their products. If they say that the product contains a certain amount of magnesium, for example, independent testing must back that up. Companies that flout the regulations face stiff penalties.

The regulations may seem excessive, but they protect the company as well. By ensuring that the food produced is safe, the company safeguards itself from potential civil action.

The Future of GMO

The Future of GMO

Fishing for Better Genetics

It has been some time since genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) became commercialized around the world. Amongst the most common changes that the world has seen up to now was herbicide and insect resistance of plants. For example, Canadian consumers will soon get access to a genetically modified salmon that can grow to market size in half the time as regular salmon. It also requires less feed.

As one can see from this and the approval thereof by regulatory authorities, genetically modified crops and other GMO food can potentially reduce the input costs of the food industry significantly.

The Future of GMO Food

There are many developments in the area of genetically modified food that the world can expect to be realized in the future. This includes things such as pigs that are resistant to disease, dairy cows without horns, and chickens that are resistant to bird flu. Sheep are also expected to become more productive in terms of wool and mutton production.

All of this sounds interesting, but food producers should not hold their breath as these developments may take years to become a reality – if they ever do. The developments that already saw the light of day, however, are playing an integral part in the production of biotech crops.

Resistance of Pests

Resistance to herbicides and insects is a past development that will continue to be improved and expanded, especially since some organisms of weed are becoming resistant to non-selective systemic herbicides like glyphosate.

The prioritization will, in future, also start to shift from new technologies to improved management practices. This is because, as more insect-resistant crops are being planted, insects themselves are becoming more resistant to developments in technology. Since this battle between pests and technology can’t continue forever, crop management will start to see its own improvements and developments, like planting crops that are not genetically modified next to GM crops.

The Future of GMO

Obstacles for GMO’s

In the future, the GMO food industry may be facing much more challenges than resistant insects and weeds. Regulatory authorities don’t take these practices lightly and getting them approved can be a headache to role players in the GMO industry.

The introduction of new genes into animals is also an issue that requires consumer acceptance. This means that certain developments in the future of GMO food will not only be limited by technological limitations, but also by social ones.

Changes in Technology

Technologies like genome-editing tools are constantly being improved and it allows for the introduction of new genes into organisms. Not only do these developments allow for more affordable and quicker genetic modification, but it also makes it possible for more and smaller role players to take part in genome editing and genetic modification of organisms.

Conclusion

Predicting GMO’s of the future is not that easy. There are many different factors at play which include the management of risks and the approval of the international community. Government regulations are also a barrier that can inhibit GMO developments. In the long-haul, chances are that GMO foods will bring about significant changes in food production.