Let’s get food labeling legislation unstuck!

By Gwen Smith, Editor – Allergic Living magazine

Dear B.C. and Alberta Chapters of the CCA,

As you’ve probably heard, Canada’s allergy groups and the CCA wrote to Prime Minister Harper at the end of October urging him to keep his government’s promise to pass the new food labelling legislation that would require food manufacturers to identify gluten and priority allergens clearly on package ingredient lists.

That promise was made in July 2008 and, after a lengthy review process, the new label regulations were ready to pass in February 2010. But instead of being moved forward into law, they’ve stalled.

To assist the groups’ effort to press the government to honour this vital commitment, Allergic Living magazine last week launched an online write-in campaign so that individuals can easily send a templated letter by e-mail to the Prime Minister. It copies the Health Minister, the President of the Treasury Board (where the legislation sits now) and the Minister of Agriculture (CFIA is under his wing).

In just one week, over 1,800 people have sent letters, with their own comments added. See: http://www.allergicliving.com/petitions/food-labelling/

We would greatly appreciate it if you could spread the word to your chapter about this online campaign. The more letters we can get to the PM, the more the government takes notice. We hope that grassroots support will finally lead to the passing of vital legislation.

In fact it was Marion Zarkadas, today a member of the CCA’s advisory board, who worked to draft the original version of these regulations in the 1990s. In 2006, she told Allergic Living – “If this goes through this year, nobody in the whole world will be happier than me.”

Well, that didn’t happen. But today, we’re closer than we were in 2006, closer than we’ve ever been to seeing the regulations through. They have passed the first phase (Canada Gazette 1) and all the consultations. All that’s needed now is the political will to see that the regulations are enacted.

This is why we need everybody’s voice to FINALLY push these regulations forward.

Thanks so much in advance – and do send along links if you are able to spread the word. We’ll post them on our Forum.

Best regards,

Gwen Smith
Editor, Allergic Living magazine
416-760-8381
http://www.allergicliving.com

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About David E. Fowler

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