A new bill calling for more prominent sugar labels on pre-packaged foods in order to help tackle obesity, was introduced in the House of Commons Thursday by Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies.
As it stands, pre-packaged food products in Canada are required to have nutritional labelling in small print on the back of the package, including sugar content. Davies is proposing that we make sugar content front and centre on packaging, not unlike cigarette warning labels.
“Cigarette labels had a dramatic impact on educating the consumer about the dangers of the product,” he says. “I think it’ll cut down on Canadians’ consumption of sugar and will improve their health,” says Davies.
Davies, who’s also the NDP’s health critic, tells Vancity Buzz that Bill C-257 addresses the prevention side of the equation.
“I’ve been looking for effective and, frankly, cheap ways that we can make Canadians healthier and basically save our system money and make patients healthier, and this is one,” he says. “The whole idea of consumer information and consumer product safety is a major driver of health.”
Since this is a private members bill, Davies can’t give an exact timeline on when this might come to fruition, but he feels hopeful.
“I think it [stands a good chance] for a number of reasons: one, I think it’s self evidentally a great idea – there’s no downside to it whatsoever – and also it doesn’t cost the government anything.”