With the development of recombinant DNA techniques for genetically modifying plants to exhibit beneficial traits, laws and regulations were adopted to ensure the safety of food and feed derived from such plants. This paper focuses on the regulation of genetically modified (GM) plants in Canada and the United States, with emphasis on the results of the compositional analysis routinely utilized as an indicator of possible unintended effects resulting from genetic modification. This work discusses the mandate of Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approach to regulating food and feed derived from GM plants. This work also addresses how publications by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Codex Alimentarius fit, particularly with defining the importance and purpose of compositional analysis. The importance of study design, selection of comparators, use of literature, and commercial variety reference values is also discussed.
Obesity is becoming an increasing health problem and results when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. Food has a crucial role in weight management. The new EU legislation on nutrition and health claims permits the use of weight regulation and satiety related health claims on foods, if they are based on generally accepted scientific evidence. In this review the current knowledge on food properties, that have been proposed to affect satiety and/or energy expenditure and thus might be useful in weight control are considered, as part of the project "Substantiation of weight regulation and satiety related health claims on foods" funded by the Nordic Innovation Centre. At this point the scientific evidence of the short term effects of dietary fibers and proteins in relation to satiety seems to be convincing. However, it might be challenging to make product specific satiety and weight management claims as the dose response is not always known. On the other hand two step health claims might be applied, for example rich in dietary fibre - dietary fibre can increase satiety or rich in protein - protein can increase satiety.
Interest in the health effects of foods by both industry and consumers has put a spotlight on the role of health claims on foods in Canada. The current regulatory framework governing the use of different health claims on foods in Canada is described and compared with international approaches. Similarities were observed in how risk-reduction claims for serious diseases are managed in the United States, European Union and proposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, including the need for premarket authorization and the requirement for a high level of certainty based on the totality of evidence in substantiating this type of claim. However, approaches to permitting function claims other than those for the well-established functions of known nutrients are divergent among the jurisdictions compared. Canada also differs from other jurisdictions in not establishing core nutritional criteria for foods carrying disease risk-reduction claims. A brief overview of the status in Canada of a number of disease risk-reduction claims that have been approved in the United States, based on significant scientific agreement under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act or through authoritative statements under the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act, is also provided.