Allergy/Asthma Information Association

Labelling of Cosmetics, Drugs & Natural Health Products

Canadian consumers often ask questions about the labelling of ingredients in cosmetic and drug products distributed in Canada, as well as food labelling.

The enhanced labelling proposal in Canada for priority allergens, gluten sources and sulphites which to the best of my knowledge is anticipated to move forward sometime in 2006. Any updates on this file may be made available at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/allergen/index_e.html.

For the Health Canada announcement on mandatory labelling of cosmetics, effective November 16, 2006, please visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca/iyh-vsv/prod/cosmet_prod_e.html.

With respect to drug products, although there was regulatory initiative several years ago, there is no requirement to declare the non-medicinal ingredients in drug products distributed in Canada and no initiative underway at this time. Individuals with concerns about non-medicinal drug ingredients are well-advised to speak to their pharmacist, contact the manufacturer and in the case of a suspect adverse reaction make use of the Health Canada Adverse Reaction Reporting system. Consumers, a family member, their pharmacist or physician, etc. may file a report. For access to the reporting form and information about the program, visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/report-declaration/index_e.html.

For those with an interest in natural health products, the concerns for labelling of ingredients were heard during the consultations which took place during the development of the Natural Health Product Regulatory Framework. Both medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients must be declared for natural health products distributed in Canada. For details on the labelling of natural health products:
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/about-apropos/53_recommend_nhp-cps_doc7_e.html
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/legislation/docs/license-licence_guide_1_e.html#1_4

The AAIA thanks Lance Hill of the CFIA for the above information.

from Allergy & Asthma News, Issue 3 2006

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