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A quarter of 85 ice cream, candy, and baked goods plants in Minnesota and Wisconsin were manufacturing foods that didn't disclose the presence of peanut and egg allergens, we reported in April ("Food Allergies," page 10). In response:

* A New York Times editorial called those labeling omissions "dangerous," and urged the food industry "to make certain that the labels of products they sell to the public accurately disclose every ingredient, including tiny amounts of potentially lethal food allergens."

* The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its field inspectors a guide to help them identify problem areas at food plants that can lead to undeclared allergens. The agency also issued a food allergen "Compliance Policy Guide" to help manufacturers control food allergens. And it has scheduled a public workshop to devise better ways to identify allergens on food labels.

* On Capitol Hill, New York Democratic Representative Nita Lowey announced plans to introduce a bill that calls for tighter regulation of food-allergen labeling. It would require companies to use common English names when they list any of the major allergens, and to include a telephone number on the label that consumers could call for more information. Please ask your Representative to co-sponsor Lowey's bill. (You tan call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative's office.)
COPYRIGHT 2001 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:food labeling laws and standards
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Previous Article:SAM-e.

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