Food Allergies,

Interesting story about "May Contain" food labels on 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 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."


Unknown said…
I may be alone in this view, but I wish that all food manufacturers would have to tell us if any of the top 8 (or 9) food allergens are used in their manufacturing facility. Given a choice, I almost always will choose a product from a peanut-free facility over a facility that uses peanuts. I may be mistaken, but I believe it reduces the risk of a reaction for us.

I also wish that food manufacturers selling online would be required by law to provide the same allergen information on their website that they are obligated to provide on the packaging/food label.
Allergic Girl® said…
hear hear. and i believe that is what the FDA hearing will be about. gonna post on that tomorrow. ps thank you for the lovely mention on i really appreciate your kind words and continuing support.

sloane, allergic girl
Shannon B. said…
Thanks for covering this issue Sloane -- it's an important one and something that matters a lot to -- imagine how much better our information would be on Zeer if we could actually confirm FOR CERTAIN an item didn't have peanuts or soy or any number of other items in it.

I'll be keeping an eye on this and probably mention this in the Zeer blog too!

Hope things are well!

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