The petition proposes three easy-to-implement changes that would make allergen labeling less ambiguous and provide much-needed transparency.
NEW YORK (WEB PR)
06 September 2022
In response to lax and ambiguous labeling regulations that put Americans with food allergies at significant risk, copies of a petition proposing changes along with more than 12,300 initial signatures are being delivered to key lawmakers.
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) estimates that 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies. For many, exposure to even a trace of their trigger allergen can cause reactions ranging from mild symptoms like hives to full-blown anaphylaxis that can be fatal if not treated promptly with epinephrine.
Although current and upcoming FDA regulations specify nine major allergens that must be disclosed when they are ingredients in a food, they do nothing to address the cross-contact issue, that is, when allergens are inadvertently introduced during the manufacturing process. Food label warnings such as “Made on equipment that processes peanuts” or “May contain milk” — known as allergen precautionary labeling (PAL) — are entirely voluntary and not regulated by the FDA. . Some manufacturers include them, some don’t, and some warn for some allergens and not others.
They also do nothing to protect people with food allergies beyond the “Top 9” because they help hide allergens under broad categories like “natural flavors” and “spices.”
The petition — led by Dave Bloom, CEO of SnackSafely.com — calls on five lawmakers who previously supported the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021. They are Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr and Rosa DeLauro, and Senators Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse and Ed Markey.
He proposes three easy-to-implement changes that would make allergen labeling less ambiguous and provide much-needed transparency. They are:
- Mandate the inclusion of a “Contains” statement (now voluntary);
- Mandate the inclusion of a single PAL statement with prescribed wording when major allergens are handled in the facility;
- Mandate disclosure of all ingredients individually.
Descriptions and examples for each of the proposed changes are included in the petition which can be found at https://www.change.org/Strengthen-the-FLMA. Legislators are encouraged to include these changes in future legislation.
US consumers interested in supporting the petition are encouraged to sign here. SnackSafely.com is committed to providing copies of the petition along with additional signatures to each of the lawmakers as the steps are completed.
SnackSafely.com provides simple, actionable information to improve the lives of the approximately 34 million Americans struggling with food allergies and celiac disease. We strive to eliminate accidental exposure by leveraging our online properties to educate, advocate and connect the allergy community with products and services that help achieve this goal.
SnackSafely.com uses a proprietary platform designed to drive greater transparency in food manufacturing with regards to allergens. Manufacturers join SnackSafely.com’s Manufacturer Partnership for free by agreeing to disclose how each of the 11 allergens are treated in the manufacture of each product, and in return receive free listings in our Family of Safe Snacks and Allergy Guides, our allergen screening service .
The program provides a way for free and traditional manufacturers to engage with the allergy community by providing additional information not required by the FDA.
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