If you ever wondered what’s in yourfood, Health Canada wants to makesure you know. The government isreinforcing stricter and more in-depth food labelling laws to ensuresafer purchasing for Canadians suf-fering from food allergies.According to Health Canada’swebsite, the new food label law hasbeen implemented to help individualswith food allergies and sensitivities.“For those with food allergies,avoiding specific foods and ingredi-ents is a challenge,” the websiteexplained.“An allergic individual cominginto contact with an undeclaredallergen may have symptoms thatrapidly progress from mild to severe,which could result in death.”The food industry will have untilAugust 4, 2012 to adhere to the newregulations around 18 months.The law will require the foodindustry to clearly outline the ingre-dients in their products.“The revised regulations willrequire that manufacturers clearlyidentify food allergens, glutensources, and sulphites, whether inthe list of ingredients, or at the end of the list of ingredients,” Anne Zok,nutrition manager for Western, said.“In addition, an allergen or a glutensource must be written in commonlyused words such as ‘milk’ or ‘wheat.’ ”It’s possible to hide some aller-gens in the label, making plain lan-guage necessary, Zok explained.“Margarine may contain milkthat is not shown on the labels. Eggscan be listed as ‘albumin’ and ‘sea-sonings’ may mean sesame seeds.”Beer, however, is exempt fromthe new label law.“We are exempt because wemade our concerns known withregard to the regulation being putforward,” said Andre Fortin, directorof public affairs for the BrewersAssociation of Canada.“Our concerns were with thesmaller breweries. They have paint-ed bottles that they are invested inand it would cost too much moneyto change their labels.”The Brewers Association alsodidn’t think this law was the mosteffective way of addressing peoplewith celiac disease.Celiac disease causes damage tothe intestines when gluten is con-sumed. The small intestine can beginto bleed, and this can lead to irondeficiency, according to Fortin.“[Celiac sufferers] are very edu-cated and they know what can andcan’t be put in their bodies,” Fortinexplained.“When you are diagnosed withceliac disease, the doctor tells youwhat you can and can’t eat, and whatthe foods you can’t eat would do toyour body.”
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LTC to install security cameras on buses
Thinking of picking your nose on thebus? Better think again. Last week,the London Transit Commissionapproved a plan to introduce securi-ty cameras to their buses.The plan will spend an estimated$730,000 to install security camerason all LTC vehicles in an effort todeter and solve crimes occurring onbuses.The cameras will record bothaudio and video and, according tothe LTC, will assist in the investiga-tion of any incidents on the busessuch as alarms or assaults. This, theLTC hopes, will ease security con-cerns on buses.One concern the LTC is hoping toaddress is violence against opera-tors. According to an LTC staff report, there were 234 reported vio-lent incidents on their busesbetween 2007 and 2009. While thisis lower than other parts of Canada,it’s still a cause for concern, accord-ing to John Ford, director of trans-portation and planning for the LTC.“Operator assaults do occur,” hesaid. “We don’t have a lot of seriousassaults, but [we have] assaultsnonetheless and we’re hoping thatthe presence of the security willassist in deterring that behaviour.”However, there is some opposi-tion to the surveillance cameras.John Reed, a lecturer in the faculty of information and media studies, con-tended both money and trust havebeen misplaced in this initiative.Reed argued the LTC’s programfollows the Toronto Transit Com-mission’s surveillance initiative,which he said has been useful foridentifying offenders, but overallineffective at preventing crime.Reed asserted there are betterways to spend the money.“From an economic standpoint,it is interesting to ask how muchmoney they are throwing at a niftyand expensive piece of technology,when LTC employees have struggledand gone on strike out of real des-peration, ” Reed said.He suggested some of the moneyshould go to supporting workersinjured on the job.Ford, however, said the cameraallows for greater ease in identifyingand convicting offenders, whichcould be a deterrent.The LTC also gave the go-aheadfor an extension of the Bike and Rideprogram, an experimental initiativeintroduced last year that saw 40 bikeracks installed on LTC buses. Theprogram was intended to gauge howmuch usage the London populationwould get out of bike racks.The program found an average of 90 people per week were using theracks, which led the LTC to approvethe installation of bike racks on theremaining 158 LTC buses over thenext three years.
I’M WATCHIN’ YOU, BOY.
The London Transit Commission is spending $730,000to install security cameras on its buses in an effort to deter and solve crimes. Thecameras will record video and audio.
Stricter label laws coming to Canada
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