Lack of labelling requirements under CEPA leaves consumers uninformed about harmful ingredients in their products

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – MPs missed an opportunity to drive faster action on the reduction of toxic substances by voting down a proposed amendment to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), that would have required the federal government to ensure harmful chemicals in consumer products are labelled.

Addressing toxic chemical exposure, transparency and disclosure of hazardous substances in the products people living in Canada use every day is a critical gap in the federal government’s bill to modernize CEPA. Greater transparency is needed to give consumers the basic “right to know” about the products we use. It would also force product manufacturers to reformulate their ingredients and materials to use less harmful substances in the Canadian marketplace. The right to know about the presence of harmful substances is an important element of the right to a healthy environment.

Establishing transparency and disclosure for product ingredients is a basic element for driving industry accountability for the impacts of product-based exposures. In the absence of labelling requirements under CEPA, consumers will be left in the dark about ingredients that could harm their health or the environment. This lack of transparency has real-life consequences for the health of people in Canada and the environment. Exposure to harmful chemicals will continue to put people and ecosystems at risk.

Groups supporting this statement:

Environmental Defence

Breast Cancer Action Quebec

Background information:

  • MPs on the House of Commons Environment Committee (ENVI) rejected amendments moved by MP Laurel Collins and MP Monique Pauzé that would have established a mechanism for labelling harmful ingredients in products.
  • Bill S-5, which seeks to reform CEPA for the first time in more than two decades, recently completed its review by the ENVI Committee. The ENVI Committee last reviewed CEPA in 2017 and recommended amendments to the Act to require mandatory labelling of harmful product ingredients.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Paula Gray,, 705-435-8611

Viorica Lorcencova,, 514-443-8437