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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 2 months ago

Is it a legal requirement to put all ingredients on a food label in Canada?

I bought a can of gravy that had a bit of a spicy taste to it, it was really nice so I decided to check what spices they put in it but on the label all I could see was “herbs and spices” I thought they were required to disclose all the ingredients in the product? 

I’m not upset about it but I’m just curious how they’re allowed to do that because some people have allergies or are food conscious and would choose not to eat certain ingredients like someone that follows a vegan lifestyle. I thought they would be required to list all the “herbs and spices” they used instead of using an umbrella term?

Update:

I’m not a vegan but I understand some people do make that lifestyle choice.. I said gravy and you assumed it was vegan? 

Update 2:

As for me saying vegan, I’m  saying for different labels, not just the spices that I was talking about, i’m thinking if they don’t have to list everything on the label then a product could contain meat without listing it. I personally don’t follow a vegan diet, I think it’s silly

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If you think following a vegan diet is silly, why are you posting your question in the vegetarian and vegan category? As for the labeling disclosure laws, most are pretty reasonable; if an ingredient falls below a certain percentage of the total product (less than 1 per cent, for example) then the manufacturer is not required to list each minor ingredient separately.

  • 2 months ago

    Of course, if you don't know anything about health and how the body works,  you see a vegan diet as silly. You will change your opinion the day, you die way too early....or maybe not - more space for vegans.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It gets pretty complicated.  The actual reference in the USA is in 21CFR101.22.  I would bet that Canada's laws are similar.   

    The definition of spice is:2) The term spice means any aromatic vegetable substance in the whole, broken, or ground form, except for those substances which have been traditionally regarded as foods, such as onions, garlic and celery; whose significant function in food is seasoning rather than nutritional; that is true to name; and from which no portion of any volatile oil or other flavoring principle has been removed. Spices include the spices listed in § 182.10 and part 184 of this chapter, such as the following:Allspice, Anise, Basil, Bay leaves, Caraway seed, Cardamon, Celery seed, Chervil, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin seed, Dill seed, Fennel seed, Fenugreek, Ginger, Horseradish, Mace, Marjoram, Mustard flour, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Pepper, black; Pepper, white; Pepper, red; Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Star aniseed, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric.Paprika, turmeric, and saffron or other spices which are also colors, shall be declared as "spice and coloring" unless declared by their common or usual name.The code goes on to say that:(h) The label of a food to which flavor is added shall declare the flavor in the statement of ingredients in the following way:(1) Spice, natural flavor, and artificial flavor may be declared as "spice", "natural flavor", or "artificial flavor", or any combination thereof, as the case may be.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    As others have said, they can get away with generic "herbs and spices", which is a problem.  I'm allergic to onions, and they often get grouped under "herbs and spices".  I belong to an online support group for people with onion and allium allergies, and what we've found is that if you contact a manufacturer and ask about specific allergens, like alliums, they will tell you if the allergen is present or not.  We've been collecting this info and sharing it so that people know which products are safe.  I'm one of the lucky ones - onions just make me really sick, but I don't go into anaphylactic shock or anything.  But it's still a nasty way to find out too late that what you ate had an allergen in it. 

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    That is how manufacturers get by the labeling laws. What exactly are 'Herbs and spices', 'Natural Flavors' Or 'Real Chicken Flavoring'? 

  • 2 months ago

    Apparently, some ingredients are considered 'trade secrets'. A manufacturer is required to list that there are herbs and spices but are not required to list exactly what they are.

  • 2 months ago

    Yes, they're allowed to do that. They may have to list ingredients, but they don't have to say exactly what gives the food its particular flavour.  What herb or spice could a vegan not have? What diet would not allow certain herbs and spices? Ingredients that are known to cause allergic reactions must be listed. I've never heard of a herb or spice that people can be allergic to.

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