Health Canada's Food Allergen Research Program is a pioneering research initiative that was developed in the early 1990's in support of the changing Canadian regulatory environment. This program has a broad scope which includes research initiatives in the development of detection methods used by laboratories as well as various other research such as consumer behaviour studies and statistical surveys.
Health Canada recognizes that avoiding specific foods and ingredients is an important health challenge for those with food allergies, sensitivities, intolerances or celiac disease. To better protect these consumers, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are continuously developing research initiatives to support the review and update of Canada's allergen labelling policies.
Health Canada's goal is to minimize risks associated with inadvertent consumption of undeclared priority allergens and maximize available choice of safe and nutritious foods for those with dietary restrictions. In the early stages of the program, a priority list of food allergens was established. To help fill the knowledge gaps and support policy development, Health Canada is supporting a variety of research in the field of food allergies and intolerances, and celiac disease.