Focus on International Trade - December 2012: Bill S-11, Safe Food for Canadians Act

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On November 22, 2012, Bill S-11, Safe Food for Canadians Act (the Act) received royal assent. The Act is the most recent attempt by the Canadian government to modernize the Canada’s food regulatory scheme administered and enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The Act aims to accomplish this through the consolidation of the Meat Inspection Act, the Fish Inspection Act, the Canadian Products Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, each of which is to be repealed. The Food and Drugs Act will remained unchanged and continue to operate to provide “overarching protection for consumers from any foods that are unsuitable for consumption”.

The Act, however, does more than merely consolidate existing legislative measures. In an effort to modernize the regulatory scheme, the Act includes a number of new and expanded provisions and powers, including those related trade, both international and interprovincial, of “food commodities”. “Food commodities” is defined to mean food as defined in the FDA; animals, plants and parts thereof from which food may be derived; and anything prescribed to be a food commodity by regulation.

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