OTTAWA, ON – A new set of rules to regulate the labelling of food and drink products to identify potential allergens was introduced yesterday by Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, but thanks to strong lobbying by the brewing industry, beer has been given a special exemption from the new packaging requirements.
The decision pleased the beer-makers, who say some smaller breweries would have had to spend millions of dollars to replace their painted bottles to conform with the new rules. They also say every beer drinker knows what’s in beer.
The beer labels are of particular interest to people suffering from celiac disease, whose intestines cannot handle the gluten contained in such grains as barley, wheat and rye.
It should be noted that this exemption is temporary, and labelling changes to identify allergens in beer are expected to be required at some point in the future, but the specific details and timing have yet to be established.