OTTAWA, Feb. 2 /CNW/ – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is being asked to act on the concerns of millions of Canadians with food allergies and celiac disease and listen to the advice of prominent national medical, consumer and health organizations and pass proposed federal food labelling regulations now. The Prime Minister is also encouraged to heed the results of a new public opinion poll showing close to 70% of Canadians want regulations to affect all pre-packaged food and beverages and not grant a special exemption for the beer industry.
According to Angus Reid Public Opinion, 67% of Canadians approve of the proposed rules so they apply to all food and beverage companies, while only 21% believe the government should change the proposed rules to exempt the brewery industry from having to declare common allergens, gluten sources and sulphites. A solid majority of Canadians support the proposed regulations across all regional, demographic and education lines.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, groups in support of the Proposed Amendments to Enhance the Labelling of Allergens, Gluten Sources and Added Sulphites argue that consumers have a right to know if there are ingredients in food and beverage products that can trigger a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. They explain why the Prime Minister should reject the last minute opposition to the proposed regulations from the influential multi-national brewery industry and respect the commitment of his own Health Minister to pass these new rules in early 2011. The full letter to the Prime Minister can be read here: http://www.anaphylaxis.ca/content/whatsnew/hot_topics.asp.
After twelve years of advocacy from the community for clearer food labelling, the new regulations were created to make it easier for people to understand food ingredient labels. As there is no way of predicting how severe an allergic reaction may be and no known cure for anaphylaxis, avoidance of allergens is the only means of staying safe. Food allergy is one of the leading causes of potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.
“After 18 months of public and stakeholder consultation and widespread support from consumers, industry and the medical community, it is time for this government to move forward and pass these food labelling regulations now,” said Laurie Harada, Executive Director of Anaphylaxis Canada and herself the parent of a teen with multiple food allergies.
Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those at risk for anaphylaxis and those who care for them. We are committed to creating a safer world for people with food allergies through research, education and advocacy. More information can be found at www.anaphylaxis.ca.
About the survey:
From January 31 to February 1, 2011, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,023 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Principal, Empower Consulting
for Anaphylaxis Canada