In a move that has thousands of diabetics and dieters up in arms, Canada is blocking ALL low carb labels from food products - even if that low carb wording is part of their name!
Diabetics are especially upset by this change, since for many of them the low carb lifestyle has helped naturally lower their blood sugar levels and removed the need for expensive medicines.
Not only will any and all mention of "low carb" be blocked from labels, but companies named "CarbOptions" and so on will not be allowed at all. Those companies would have to change their names - and of course their entire product packaging, labeling, and all sales material - in order to be sold in Canada. This regulation is slated to take effect on December 12, 2005.
According to canoe.ca, the Bureau of Nutritional Sciences was quoted as saying, "All recommendations are that carbohydrate is the major source of calories in the diet". I'm not sure how they could say "ALL" in that sentence. Certainly I know of many, many studies that show that people should NOT be downing carbohydrates at the rate they are.
Part of what the Canadian government is missing here is that most people are not eating a complete, nutritional set of meals every day. They are not eating all natural fruits and vegetables. They are eating a fair amount of junk foods and are already OVER their carbohydrate limits. The point of low carb food is to help people stay under what they should be eating by cutting sugars out of those processed foods. Ketchup has sugar in it. Cookies have sugar in them. The low carb versions have LESS sugar in them which is a GOOD thing.
If you are in Canada, write your legislators!! Get them to realize that low carb isn't about "cutting out healthy carbs". It is about cutting out all those JUNK carbs that manufacturers have been sticking in our foods for years - and that have made us fat.
2010 update: This was originally written in 2004 and it appears these regulations are still in effect. This despite the volumes of research on eating a diet low in carbohydrates. Does anyone have any update on this?
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books