Courtesy of Richard's Whole Foods

Allergens Made More Clear

Posted: 5/2/2006

Posted May 2, 2006

A new law went into effect January 1, 2006, which requires food manufacturers to disclose, in clear language, whether a product contains any of the top eight food allergens. The label must identify the presence of protein derived from the following sources:

* milk

* eggs

* fish

* crustacean shellfish

* tree nuts

* peanuts

* wheat

* soybeans

These allergens must now be listed even if they are in food coloring, flavors, or spice blends. The label must also specify the nut or seafood used (cashews or tuna, for example). According to Robert E. Bracket, PhD, Director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, these eight food allergens account for 90% of all documented food allergic reactions, some of which may be severe or life-threatening.

The law is not retroactive. Food with the old labels will remain on the shelves until it reaches its expiration date. It is also important that parents of kids with celiac disease be aware that while wheat is part of the new label law, rye barley and oats, which can trigger the disorder, are not.

This law makes it easier for both children and adults who are among the estimted 11 million people in the United States with food allergies to be careful about what they eat.

Date: May 1, 2006

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