A number of new low-carb product lines could be barred from Canadian store shelves next year when new carbohydrate labelling rules take effect.

Health Canada says there is no scientific evidence to support low-carb diets, including Atkins and other similar popular regimes. The general public has "no need to reduce carbohydrate intake, or look for foods that are lower in carbohydrate", according to a recent Health Canada release, which also warned the food industry that "express or implied representations are prohibited".

Because they imply carbohydrate benefits, even trademarks are affected. Hundreds of new products could be affected, such as Unilever's Carb Options line, which would be prohibited when regulations take effect 12 December 2005 for large companies, and two years later for producers with yearly sales under C$1m (US$0.85m).