New Rules On Labeling Food
Millions of food allergy sufferers in the United States will have a bit of added security in 2006 under new federal rules that require clear, no-nonsense labeling of products that contain common allergy-triggering ingredients.
"The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act," passed in the summer of 2004, will officially take effect on Jan. 1 after companies were given an 18-month head start to prepare. The law targets eight food groups that cause 90 percent of all food allergies, including milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, wheat and soybeans.
Dr. James Gern, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, can talk to reporters about the causes and prevalence of food-based allergies and the implications of these new rules. Gern is a national expert of childhood asthma and allergies and recently served on the Executive Committee, Section on Allergy and Immunology, for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A recent Food and Drug Administration study found that one in four sampled foods failed to list peanuts or eggs as ingredients on their food labels. About 2 percent of adults and 5 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from food allergies, and they cause roughly 150 deaths and 30,000 emergency-room treatments each year.
The complete act can be found at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/ dms/alrgact.html