Health advocates in Canada have encountered a temporary setback: added sugar will not be listed on nutrition labels.
- “Consumers, health professionals, even the provincial and territorial governments, had wanted labeling of added sugars. The proposal to declare the amount of added sugars in the Nutrition Facts table was popular among consumers and health stakeholders (including health professionals, NGOs and provincial and territorial governments.”
- “Industry doubted the science. “Added sugars” is confusing, the industry argued, directing Health Canada experts to a U.S. study that suggested “consumers have a limited understanding of the ‘added sugars’ declaration in the Nutrition Facts table.” A study that was funded, in part, by the food industry.”
- “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to want the same thing. In his mandate letter to the new health minister, listed among the top priorities was “improving food labels to give more information on added sugars.”
- “If added sugars can’t be tracked, it means a loss of data. “For health researchers, we can’t do those types of studies to see what are the effects of consuming high amounts of added sugars,” University of Toronto’s nutrition sciences professor Mary L’Abbé in a Canadian Medical Association Journal podcast. “They’re missing a huge opportunity to educate consumers but also to allow consumers to make informed decisions.”
While an unfortunate hurdle, we nevertheless believe added sugar labeling is inevitable and will eventually come to pass. Stay the course, advocates!