Food Ingredient Right To Know Act

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By EILEEN on Wed, 04-04-01, 23:50

By Neil Sherman
HealthScout Reporter, April 04, 2001

[url="http://www.healthscout.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Af?ap=55&id=109797"]http://www.healthscout.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Af?ap=55&id=109797[/url]

"...........The FDA needs to increase its oversight of food manufacturers as well as work more closely with companies to ensure accurate labeling, according to the FDA official. A workshop is being planned later this year on accurate labeling with trade groups and companies. In addition, increased training of FDA investigative staff is under way.

Congress is reacting to the issue, as well.

Rep. Nita M. Lowey, a New York Democrat, has sponsored two bills to develop stricter standards, says Elizabeth Stanley a spokeswoman for Lowey in Washington, D.C.

"The one introduced today, called the Food Ingredient Right To Know Act should close the loophole for allergen listing in flavorings and other food additives." Current regulations do not require the listing of minute amounts of allergens, she explains.

"The second piece of legislation mandates that you include on the label, in common English, which of the eight main food allergens are in the product," Stanley says. "The label will have to clearly say peanuts, or shellfish or milk, not albumen or some other Latin term."

But government regulation may not be the answer.

"There should be voluntary compliance," says Munoz-Furlong. "Regulations will take years, cost hundreds of lives and thousands and thousands of hospitalizations."

"The food industry has to recognize the important role they play in food allergies," she insists. "People depend on these labels. They must be clear, concise and reliable............"

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