Health Canada recognizes that the foods we eat can affect our health in different ways. Some food labels contain statements about the beneficial effects of certain foods on a person's health, such as "a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fat may reduce the risk of heart disease". This type of statement is an example of a health claim.
A health claim is any representation in labelling or advertising that states, suggests, or implies that a relationship exists between consumption of a food or an ingredient in the food and a person's health.
Nutrition claims such as "cholesterol-free" and "reduced in calories", may also appear on the front of food packages, providing a quick and easy way to identify foods with nutritional features of interest.
The Food Directorate of Health Canada is responsible for the development of policies, regulations and standards that relate to the use of health claims on foods. Health claims on foods may help people make informed decisions about food choices provided they are truthful and not misleading. The Food Directorate assesses whether health claims are truthful and not misleading by reviewing mandatory and voluntary pre-market submissions. Decisions about health claims which are based on Health Canada reviews are available on this website. Depending on the novelty of the substance that is the subject of the health claim, the food product may also be subject to safety assessment if it is considered a novel food.
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