| March 10, 2004,
just-food.com: The US senate has passed new food
labeling legislation requiring processors to identify
all major allergens that are contained in a food item.
The bill, which will now go before the House of Representatives,
will ensure that ingredient statements provide clear
information about contents containing milk, eggs, fish,
shellfish, wheat, peanuts and soybeans.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection
Act would include all food items and additives such
as spices, flavorings and colorings. If the bill passes
the House of Representatives it would take effect on
January 1, 2006.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) welcomed
the senate’s passing of the bill, calling it “an
important step forward in providing clear, consistent
and reliable ingredient label information”.
"Those with food allergies depend upon the ingredient
label to make decisions that impact their health,"
said Anne Munoz-Furlong, FAAN’s founder.
"Inaccurate and confusing ingredient labels have
caused reactions as some labels are incomplete, or misleading.
FAAN applauds this groundbreaking legislation as a major
step forward for the 7 million Americans who must avoid
food allergens," she added.
The National Food Processors Association said many
companies are already providing allergen information
on food labels.
"The Senate-passed provisions related to allergen
labeling, in part, reflect what many companies already
are doing. Nevertheless, it is our hope that as this
legislation continues to move through the process, further
modification will make it more functional for industry
and consumers alike," said Tamara Somerville, senior
vice president of government affairs for the NFPA.