Health Canada advised consumers that the recently released functional food margarine product, Becel™ Pro-activ™, is not in compliance with the Canadian Food and Drugs Act and Regulations. Becel™ Pro-activ™, made by Unilever Canada Limited, is a fat spread manufactured with added plant sterols (phytosterols) for the purpose of reducing blood cholesterol levels. According to a statement prior to introducing Becel™ Pro-activ™ onto the Canadian market, Unilever did not receive the required approval from Health Canada. The department has therefore been unable to properly assess the effects of exposure to this product with added phytosterols. Phytosterols, acknowledged for lowering cholesterol, may , claims Health Canada, pose health risks for certain groups, such as: pregnant women, children, people predisposed to hemorrhagic strokes and people on cholesterol-lowering medication. In the European Union and Australia where Becel™ Pro-activ™ has passed through the necessary premarket review procedures, it is required to carry a label advising that certain consumers may be placed at risk by consuming the product. Health Canada advises anyone who has been using this product and has concerns to consult their physician. The government organisation added that it will take appropriate action to bring this product into compliance with Canadian regulations.