Government of Canada tries to redefine what food are suitable for vegans

Government of Canada tries to redefine what food are suitable for vegans

Vegan Society of Canada News
May 15th 2019

We noticed in the last year an influx of businesses being confused about the word vegan, contacting us having trouble with overseas customs and requiring urgent certification, and an increase of Canadian products being labeled vegan that are not suitable for vegans and not vegan certifiable. We were puzzled as to why this was happening until we became aware of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) information here, which is certainly not helping.

Please note that the information with regards to vegan labelling claim is wrong and food that are labelled according to that definition are not necessarily suitable for people who self-identify as vegans. The information given on the site for the word "vegan" is instead the definition of food that are "strict vegetarian". We informed CFIA of the mistake and will follow up with some update as we have more information.

As you all know, it is currently the wild west in vegan certification as there is no law that dictate who and how things can be certified. As we speak, anyone one can certify something vegan and the countries that have rules regarding vegan labelling are not all the same. Furthermore, while it is possible to get certification on the web for a few hundred dollars it is our opinion that many of those do not go far enough. We have even seen in the past item that were certified by other organizations that would not have been certifiable by us. As far as we know, our vegan certification is compliant with all countries and with draft version of upcoming international standards.

As we mentioned we are currently working to increase global cooperation between Vegan Societies in different countries to be able to address increasingly global issues such as these. We hope to have some update on that side sometime this year. We are also working to develop global standards to describe food that are suitable for vegans but until then would recommend you consider food labeled “vegan” that are not certified the same as if the product was unlabelled and investigate yourself carefully. We will not accept veganism or food suitable for vegans being redefined in ways that are unsuitable for vegans.

If you are a business please do not hesitate to contact us to have more information on the vegan philosophy and foods that are suitable for vegans. We are always available to help anyone working towards a more compassionate world.

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