OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is asking for feedback on proposed guidelines for plant-based meat and poultry product claims.

The agency said there is a need to update current guidelines to include food products that are plant-based proteins but are not intended to resemble or substitute a meat or poultry product. Current guidelines apply to products that are made to resemble meat or poultry products such as plant-based burgers that are made to look like a beef burger by simulating the red color or marbling effect of animal-based meat.

“The proposed updates to the guidelines seek to clarify what constitutes simulated meat or poultry products in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulations and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations,” CFIA said. “The guidelines outline the rules for labelling, advertising, composition and fortification for such products. Clearer guidelines will better support industry in their understanding and application of the regulatory requirements.”

Industry stakeholders and consumers can submit their comments by Dec. 3, 2020.

CFIA noted that more than 40% of Canadians are actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets; and sales of plant-based proteins in Canada rose 7% to more than C$1.5 billion in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

“The growth in Canada’s plant-based foods industry indicates the need for clearer guidelines to better support industry in their understanding and application of regulatory requirements,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “We’re working to bring that clarity which includes a better understanding of consumers’ views and needs to allow them to make more informed food choices.”