Interesting story about "May Contain" food labels on CNN.com in relation to the FDA hearing to take place September 16th.
If you didn't already know those "May Contain" labels are completely arbitrary i.e. not regulated by the FDA, and up to each individual manufacturer.
I wrote about a "May Contain" label and consumer reaction study for Healthcentral.com. Here is an excerpt:
“The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) became effective for all packaged foods in January 2006. It applies to the 8 major allergens (egg, milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish). However, FALCPA does not address raw meat, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables nor does it address other food allergens not considered "major," such as seeds and spices. For example, in Canada, sesame is the 9th major allergen."
"More importantly, cautionary statements, such as "may contain," "manufactured in the same facility as" or "manufactured using the same equipment" are voluntary according to each manufacturer. There are no universal standards for what they mean. Dr. Sicherer underscored the point, stating that: "it is important to know that these statements aren't regulated."