|Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 - 7:54 pm: || |
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Millions of Americans have food allergies, and each year about 150 people in the United States die from anaphylactic shock caused by a food allergy. The Food and Drug Administration has found that many food products contain allergens not disclosed on the labels. Please take action to support legislation that will strengthen regulation of food-allergens.
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Visit the web address below and tell your friends to help make food safer for the millions of Americans with food allergies!
We encourage you to take action by December 31, 2001
Help make food safer for Americans with food allergies
In response to the food allergies article in the April 2001 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter and subsequent article and editorial in The New York Times, Representative Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) and Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass) have announced they plan to introduce legislation calling for tighter regulation of food-allergens. I urge you to contact both your Representative and your two Senators this week and ask them to support this legislation.
As reported in our article, millions of Americans have food allergies, and each year about 150 people in the United States die from anaphylactic shock caused by a food allergy. A 2000 survey conducted jointly by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Minnesota, and Wisconsin found that one-quarter of the bakery products, candy, and ice cream sampled were contaminated with peanut or egg ingredients that were not declared on the product labels.
Representative Lowey has said that the legislation would require companies to list the major allergens (including those in spices, flavorings, and colorings) by their common English names, to include a telephone number on the label that consumers could call for more information, and to better prevent cross-contact between products made in the same facility or on the same production line. Her bill would also allow the FDA to assess penalties against firms that violate the food allergen requirements and require the United States Centers for Disease Control to establish a system for tracking food allergy-related deaths. In addition, the legislation should be expanded to also require companies to indicate on labels that the food may contain allergens when the possibility of contamination cannot be totally excluded.