September 19, 2008
FDA Mulls Changes to Food Allergy Labeling
FDA held a public hearing earlier this week as part of its long-term plan to help manufacturers upgrade their labeling practices. From HealthDay.com:
TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Responding to concerns that food labels aren't doing enough to alert consumers to the presence of allergens, or that the labels are just plain confusing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is hosting a public hearing Tuesday on what it can do to improve things.
"If you go down the candy aisle and you pick up any number of candy bars or other confectionery products, you are going to see a variety of these 'may contain'-type labels: 'may contain peanuts,' 'processed on shared equipment,' 'manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts or milk or whatever it is,'" said Anne Munoz Furlong, founder of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network in Fairfax, Va. "Nobody knows what it means. Some [labels] are completely ridiculous, and the result is that consumers are confused and are forced to have very limited food choices or take risks."
"We would like to see all of the food industry adopt one set of criteria for using these descriptions and a limited number of those descriptions," Furlong added. "There are about 30 different ways to say 'may contain' on the marketplace. That's way too many."
FDA is accepting written comments through Jan. 14, 2009. See the Federal Register announcement to learn how.
More from American Public Media .
Thanks go to William Mitchell College of Law student Lauralee Fritz for preparing this post.
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