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Canada New Halal Labeling Requirements

June 25, 2014

Canada has amended its Food and Drug Regulations by adding new labeling requirements for halal food. New requirements state that the word “halal” cannot be used in labeling, packaging, advertising or selling a food unless the name of the person or body that certified the food as halal is indicated on the food label or package, or in the advertisement or sales materials.

According to the Codex Alimentarius, the term “halal” means permitted under Islamic law. The halal label on a food item would therefore suggest that the food item is permitted under Islamic law. However, due to various interpretations of Islamic law, reaching a consensus amongst Canadian Muslims as to what constitutes halal has been difficult to achieve, and consumers of halal foods have had difficulty making informed purchase decisions. The amendment helps to ensure consistent, accurate and appropriate label information on halal food so that consumers can make better informed choices.

The amendment was published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on April 23, 2014 and comes into effect on April 4, 2016.

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