True Foods™ provides assurance to discerning consumers that food products bearing this trustmark are verified and continually monitored from farm to shelf to ensure that they consistently conform to the label claims on the package.
Canadians enjoy some of the safest and most nutritious food available in the world. Today, many Canadians want assurances that their meat, milk and egg products are raised and produced in Canada and that the statements included on the food labels are consistently true and verified.
Working directly with Canadian Farmers, Canadian Food companies and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, True Foods™ brings the truth and transparency to Canadians who want to know where their food comes from, how it was raised and what it was fed.
Many Canadians are already enjoying food products that claim to be enriched with various vitamins, probiotics, minerals, Omega 3 or claim to be raised without the use of hormones, antibiotics, animal by-products or vegetable grain fed.
Enrichment levels are tested in food labs to confirm the label claims while “raised without” claims must be approved through animal feeding protocols and verified through regular auditing processes that flow from farm to fork.
True Foods™ creates and manages these complex claim verification systems while providing transparent access to the stories behind the products that bear the True Foods™ Trustmark.
FOOD YOU CAN TRUST
Canadian Verifiable Claims
Below are the verifiable label claims found on various food products in Canada. These claims can sometimes be confusing, which is why we’ve outlined each of them so that you can better understand what they all really mean. Click on a claim below to see its description.
Raised Without Antibiotics
To display this claim, the animal or fish must not have received antibiotics from birth to harvest. In addition, no antibiotics can be administered to the mother of the animal in question in any manner, which would result in antibiotic residue in the animal.
Raised Without the Use of Added Hormones
No hormones shall be administered in any way (including through the mother) to the animal that forms the food product carrying the claim “raised without the use of hormones” on the label or advertisement.
In species where regulations permit the use of hormones and where none were used, the products derived from these animals could make the claim “raised without the use of hormones”.
For products that originated from animals for which the use of hormones is prohibited in Canada a claim such as “like other (naming the product or source animal) these (naming the product or source animal) were raised without the use of hormones”. For example: “Raised without added hormones like all hogs in Canada.”
In Canada, growth hormones are only given to beef cattle. There are no growth hormones used in poultry, pork or dairy production due to CFIA regulations. This means that any “hormone-free” or “raised without the use of hormones” labels on dairy products, pork and chicken are purely for marketing purposes and may be misleading.
No Animal By-Product
To display this claim, meat, poultry, and fish products, must be raised on feed free of ingredients or components of animal origin, including animal products and animal by-products.
It should be noted that it is understood that the animals subject to the feed claims, except for chicken and fish, were nourished with their mothers’ milk. This milk is not taken into consideration when evaluating a claim for the absence of animal products and animal by-products in the animal’s diet.
Animal Products is defined to include cream, eggs, milk, non-fertilized ova and semen (Health of Animals Act).
Animal By-product is defined to include blood or any of its components, bones, bristles, feathers, flesh, hair, hides, hoofs, horns, offal, skins and wool, and anything containing any of those things (Health of Animals Act).
In addition the CFIA has ruled that Vitamin D3 derived from cholesterol contained in the lanolin of sheep wool grease is considered an animal by-product. Since this type of Vitamin D3 is the only Vitamin D which is permitted by law to be used in swine, cattle and sheep feeds in Canada all pork, beef and lamb is disqualified from using this claim.
Since there is an alternative non-animal derived Vitamin D3 registered for use in poultry feeds in Canada, assuming poultry are supplemented with this type of Vitamin D3 and and are not fed any animal products or by-products chicken and turkey are able to claim “no animal by-products”.
Raised Without Growth Promotants
To display this claim, the animal or fish must not have any hormone implants (only applies to beef in Canada) nor receive any beta agonists from birth to harvest. Beta-agonists* can be administered through swine, beef cattle and turkey feeds in Canada by way of CFIA registered Ractopamine® based products under the trade names Paylean®, Optiflexx®, Engain® and Actogain®.
*Beta-agonists are a class of non-hormonal compounds fed to cattle. Their mode of action is to bind to receptors on fat cells in the animals’ body and redirect and reduce the metabolism of fat. Consequently, less fat is produced and less fat is stored in the carcass. At the same time the compounds bind to receptors on muscle cells and redirect and increase the size of muscle fibers. Muscle fiber size replaces some of the weight normally found from fat and the total carcass contains a higher percentage lean muscle. These actions reduce the energy supplied by the feed to produce weight gain. With more weight produced by the same level of feed intake feed efficiency is increased.
(Source: Penn State Extension)
Vegetable Grain Fed/Grain Fed
To display this claim, the animals must have been fed a grain diet, where the macro feed ingredients, added as sources of energy and protein, are made up solely of grains and grain by-products with no ingredients of animal origin. Minerals and vitamins as well as non-nutritive feed additives such as medications, biologics, pellet binders, enzyme supplements, anti-caking agents, flavouring agents, etc., may be added regardless of origin (i.e. additives such as Vitamin D3 derived from the lanolin of sheep wool and vitamins and minerals, which are encapsulated, for stability purposes, in gelatin of animal origin may be added without disqualifying the final product from making the claim “grain fed” or “vegetable grain fed”.
Grain is defined by the CFIA as barley, beans, buckwheat, canola, chick peas, corn, fababeans, flaxseed, lentils, oats, peas, rice, rye, safflower seed, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale and wheat or any of their by-products. This definition does not include forages such as corn silage, haylage, grass, etc.
Raised on Feed that Includes Grains
This claim is used to describe food products derived from animals that were raised on feed which included grains and grain by-products but was not exclusively limited to grains. Other acceptable feed ingredients such as hay, forages and/or ingredients derived from animal products or animal by-products may also be present.
The words “includes grains” communicates to the consumer that the animals were fed a diet which was not exclusively made up of grains and could contain other feed ingredients such as hay, animal products and/or animal by-products.
Source of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
To make this claim a serving of this food must contain 0.3 g or more of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or 0.3 g or more of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids per 100g, if the food is a prepackaged meal.
Omega-3 Fatty acids consist of a family of long chain fatty acids.
• ALA (derived mainly from flax, canola and other plant sources)
• DHA and EPA (markedly from marine sources) are the most researched and understood of the Omega-3 fatty acids.
Contains Nutritionally Enriched DHA Omega-3
Food labels that quantify DHA content are allowed to state the following Health Claim:
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, supports the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves.
DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that is widely recognized as the essential fatty acid in the brain responsible for normal functioning of neural tissue (including cognitive performance, learning ability, memory, etc.) and in the retina of the eye for visual acuity. Almost all the omega-3 fatty acid found in brain tissue, where it is required for structure-function relationships, is in the form of DHA.
DHA omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in ocean fish and some algae. DHA can now be found in a variety of foods besides fish due to processed food enrichment strategies (physically adding encapsulated fish oil or specific algae species to processed food) or by nutritionally enriching fresh meat, milk and eggs through the feeding of DHA rich feed to the animal.
If a quantitative statement is made about DHA on a food label, the quantitative statement may appear as a separate statement but the full disclosure of the monounsaturated, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid content must appear in the Nutrition Facts table.
Excellent Source of Selenium
This food provides more than 25% of the Recommended Daily Intake of Selenium (ie. 12.5 mcg/day)per serving.
Selenium is a dietary antioxidant involved in the formation of a protein that defends against oxidative stress.
Raised with a Conscience
Consumers are taking a close look at how their food is produced to make better choices and to support a ‘back to basics’ approach to farming. As the reality of modern livestock production becomes more evident and consumers realize that alternatives do exist, animal husbandry claims like “humanely raised” are on the rise across many retail channels. At Rowe Farms™, Raised with a Conscience means that all of their animals are raised in humane and low-stress environments, without the use of antibiotics or growth promoting hormones. They have open access to food and water, and eat strictly vegetarian diets.
Labels stating that meat products come from “grass-fed” animals aren’t currently subject to formal government approval in Canada; unfortunately, the reference can be used quite loosely. However, the CFIA has approved the first Canadian certification label for grass-fed meat. The label was developed by the U.S. certifying body Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). In this classification, livestock must be born and raised entirely on grass and forage, and also raised on pasture or range for their whole lives.
Canada does not require labelling for foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), although many consumers want to know which foods do not contain or were not derived from them. “GMO free” and similar claims are not legally or scientifically defensible due to limitations of testing methodology. In addition, the risk of contamination to seeds, crops, ingredients and products is too high to reliably claim that a product is “GMO-free”.
Currently Corn, Soybeans and Sugar Beets (Beet Pulp) have GMO varieties registered for use in Canada. In the spring of 2014 a decision was made to delay the commercial release of GMO Alfalfa in Canada. Wheat and Barley crops are non GMO in Canada.
It is important to note that consumers are increasingly concerned about human health challenges allegedly linked to potential Glyphosate (Roundup®) residues found in foodstuffs. Although Glyphosate (Roundup®) is extensively used in GMO crops, it should be noted that this chemical is also used extensively in non-GMO crops.
Since 2009, only products with organic content that is greater than or equal to 95 percent may be labelled as “Organic”. Multi-ingredient products with 70 to 95 percent organic content may have the declaration “contains x% organic ingredients,” but they may not use the label “Organic”. Any product that makes an organic claim must be certified by an agency accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
A full description of Canadian organic regulations may be found at Public Works and Government Services Canada.
Farmers You Can Trust
Meet some of the farmers who are part of True Foods™.