OTTAWA, Ontario – Health Canada’s 50-year-old rules for regulating food additives got an update on Nov. 8 when new regulations came into force.

“These changes are further proof that our government is serious about protecting the health and safety of Canadian consumers and their families,” said Canada’s Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq. “By making these common sense changes, we are helping safer foods get on to store shelves more quickly.”

Health Canada maintains a list of all approved food additives. Before the new regulations, it took an additional 12 to 18 months for the regulatory process to actually change the list and make the product legal even when scientists showed a new additive could reduce the risk of a food-borne illness outbreak.

The new regulations will allow Health Canada to authorize food additives that have health and safety benefits without the long wait. The updates also allow the agency to quickly respond to health and safety concerns about an existing additive. Health Canada will maintain publicly available lists on its web site. The lists include information regarding any limits on an additive’s use.