House of Commons Hansard #194 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Question No. 156
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

(a) In cases where the shelf life of a food product is expected to be more than 90 days, there is no general requirement to label such products with a “best before” or “packaged on” date. Of course, all other labelling requirements, e.g. ingredient listing, common name, et cetera, apply unless exceptions are noted.

(b) As noted above, there is no general requirement to label products with a shelf life expected to be more than 90 days with a “best before” or “packaged on” date.

However, there are two types of products that may have a shelf life of over 90 days for which a requirement for date of packaging or date of processing on the label applies. These are “low-acid foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers” and “whole cheese that is not made from a pasteurized source”.

The regulations pertaining to a requirement for the indication of a date on the label for these types of products are quoted below:

B.27.005 states that “No person shall sell a commercially sterile low-acid food packaged in a hermetically sealed container unless (a) the label or container of the food bears a code or lot number that identifies, in a legible and permanent manner, (i) the establishment in which the product was rendered commercially sterile, and (ii) the day, month and year on which the food was rendered commercially sterile; and (b) the exact meaning of each item in any code or lot number referred to in paragraph (a) is available to an inspector at the establishment or, where the food is imported, from the importer”.

B.08.042 states that “No manufacturer shall sell whole cheese that is not made from a pasteurized source unless the date of the beginning of the manufacturing process is (a) marked or branded thereon within three days thereof or (b) marked on the label at the time of packaging, if the cheese is such that, because of its texture, consistency, or physical structure, such date cannot be effectively branded or marked on the cheese”.

In addition, there are certain foods for which expiration dates are required. Note that these foods all have specific nutritional requirements and several of them are used as sole sources of nutrition.

These are: Formulated liquid diets: B.24.103(g); Meal replacements and nutritional supplements: B.24.202(d); Foods represented for use in a low energy diet: B.24.304(h); Infant formulas, or human milk substitutes, and foods containing human milk substitutes: B.25.057(1)(f) and (2)(f)

“Expiration date”, B.24.001 and B.25.001, for these products means “the date (a) after which the manufacturer does not recommend that it be consumed, and (b) up to which it maintains its microbiological and physical stability and the nutrient content declared on the label”.

(c) There is no current activity with respect to putting forward such regulations.

(d) A durable life date provides consumers with an indication of the date until which a food, stored under appropriate conditions, would “retain its normal wholesomeness, palatability, nutritional value and any other qualities claimed for it by the manufacturer”. A growing number of Canadian companies have voluntarily adopted “best before” dating for their foods with a shelf life greater than 90 days to provide more information to their customers. This trend is expected to continue.

Regardless of whether a food is within or beyond its stated durable life date, if a food is considered to pose a hazard, it must be dealt with by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, CFIA, or other relevant authority. In the course of an investigation, the CFIA may make a request to Health Canada for a health risk assessment, HRA. It is, nevertheless, the responsibility of food manufacturers/importers to ensure the safety of the food they put on the market and to ensure that the durable life date is valid.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 144 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

o

144--

Question n
Routine Proceedings

May 29th, 2002 / 3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

With respect to the Youth Employment Strategy: ( a ) in the last fiscal year, how much money was allocated to the Strategy by all federal departments, broken down by province; ( b ) with respect to the four Youth Employment Strategy initiatives (Youth Internship Canada,Youth Service Canada, Youth Information and Awareness, and Student Summer Job Action) in Quebec, what organizations received more than $4,000 and what amount did each receive; and ( c ) with respect to the four Youth Employment Strategy initiatives in Canada, what was the total amount allocated, broken down by province?

(Return tabled)

Question n
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Question n
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Question n
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has received notice of an application for emergency debate from the hon. member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands.

Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, my application for an emergency debate made under Standing Order 52 concerns an important and urgent matter affecting the agriculture industry.

For the second consecutive year most farmers in Saskatchewan, Alberta and many other areas of Canada will confront the effects of another drought. All indications point toward another hard summer for prairie producers.

Throughout the winter and spring the prairies received very little precipitation. Spring runoff levels are in some areas non-existent. The South Saskatchewan river should be teeming with water right now but because of low water levels it looks more like a creek.

Our livestock producers are also dreading the summer. They too rely on the land to feed their cattle. Local forage for cattle and other livestock will be very limited. Again, Agriculture Canada is indicating that grass growth on pastures is poor across the prairies. If producers cannot allow their cattle to graze on local pastures, that means they will be forced to either sell cattle, buy feed or ship their animals out.

There is an added concern of an infestation of grasshoppers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Agriculture Canada has listed a portion of my riding as having a very severe risk of a grasshopper outbreak. Three other areas in Alberta have been given this grade. Drought exacerbates this problem.

By allowing this emergency debate, members would have the opportunity to draw to the attention of cabinet the serious conditions in western Canada and the importance of effective safety nets, unlike the current crop insurance program which is not working.

This topic needs to be debated now before the summer recess so that improvements and other measures can be put in place as soon as possible.

Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has heard the submissions of the hon. member and has reviewed carefully the letter he forwarded to the Speaker yesterday. I thank the hon. member for his intervention. I do not believe however that the application meets the exigencies of the standing order at this particular time. Accordingly, I am not inclined to permit the debate.

The House resumed from May 27 consideration of the motion that Bill C-55, an act to amend certain acts of Canada, and to enact measures for implementing the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, in order to enhance public safety, be read the second time and referred to a committee; and of the amendment.