Food Labelling petition

16 replies [Last post]
By Greg on Fri, 05-26-00, 16:50

Here is a link to a press release from the NY State Attorrney Generals office. It is in regard to a petition to the FDA for stricter labelling for allergens. Many of our support group members worked hard on this and in particular one member devoted day and nights for months to get this out. Let's all hope the FDA accepts it!
[url="http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html"]http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html[/url]

Groups: None
By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Fri, 05-26-00, 23:14

Hi Greg, Thank you for posting the link to the press release and the petition. I am glad to see you are working on this and hope we can motivate everyone in our community to work on this issue also.

TO EVERYONE PLEASE READ:
Those of us who have been working on acquiring better labeling and/or who understand the labeling issue (or those who want to see changes made because they realize there needs to be changes made so labeling in the U.S. is safe for those with food allergies, which it currently is not) please work on explaining why this labeling petition is so important to our community and to society. Post on this "Labeling" Discussion board on PeanutAllergy.Com, and of great importance (as we are in the beginning of this campaign to get the new labeling petition adopted), contact your local and national media etc. and get the information out there! Many, even in our community, are not aware that there are problems with the current labeling in the U.S.A. so be sure to explain as much as possible why we need better laws in place and why it is so important.

I have been busy working with Peter Skinner at the Attorney Generals office in New York and with the interns etc. as well as many others such as Leila at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (202-332-9110 extension 351) (they were responsible for getting the nutrition label put on).

We are now working on ways to promote and push this petition for better labeling to be sure it gets adopted by the FDA.
(If you have any media or political contacts, or just some ideas you would like to share which you think may be helpful, let me know immediately by e mail, fax or phone. We are on eastern standard time.

As you may know this is something many have been working on for a long time and I am very happy to see it become public. There are many to thank who helped bring this petition together especially those in the Nut Allergy Awareness Group in New York, and of course those at the Attorney General's Office in New York. Also we must thank and support the many states attorney generals who have signed on as well. (check to see if your state's attorney general signed on and if not contact them to find out why, be sure to post what you find out).

I have worked with many on this in the past year and I am not sure that they want their names mentioned publicly so I will just give them a heart felt thank you. When I speak to them I will ask if they want to be thanked publicly. Of course you know who you are and I want you to know we all appreciate what you have done to bring us closer to safer labeling, and I am sure you will continue to do all you can to see this petition through.

Now is the time when we all need to work together as an organized group.

Now the real fighting for better labeling and our safety begins. Writing, submitting to the FDA and making this petition public is only the first steps, there will be many obstacles ahead of us in our path which we must overcome in order to see the petition actually adopted by the FDA.

We expect a lot of opposition from the manufacturer's organizations (many of whom are VERY powerful AND WELL FUNDED). Ever heard of the Peanut Council? Look back a few years at some of the news articles done on the airlines issue if you want to see how influential they can be. There are many, much more powerful organizations that we will now be facing as well. These organizations have stopped many other groups from obtaining safer food and better labeled products. Our opponent's organizations work hard to stop changes, such as our petition, if it might cost their members money to comply. We are fighting for our safety, and they are fighting for their businesses. Sadly we are at odds with each other, this is unavoidable. We understand that it is their job to promote their products and to work to increase sales and that part of their job is to be sure nothing reduces sales, such as removing peanuts from airplanes.

I cannot stress enough how we must come together at this time to try to get this passed. It has been difficult not being able to release what we have been working on for so long as we felt everyone would support us financially if they knew how much we do, but I felt it was in our best interest not to leak out what we were doing, so our opponents would not be able to squash this effort before we had a chance to put it together. Those we are up against are very powerful and able to work politically to stop our efforts. I want you to be aware of this as we head off to do battle against those who will work to stop us from creating a safer environment for those with peanut and food allergies.
I have been asking for years for everyone to step up to the plate with us and to give money to help us work on making our lives safer. I hope this will motivate you to actually put a check in the mail. We cannot fight without the funds. It costs money to operate and the more we have available to use the more we can compete with our opponents.
The multi million dollar food industry organizations will be fighting to stop this effort and we need to have the funds to combat any assault on our safety. I hope you do not wait around to see how it goes in hopes that others will be give enough so you do not have to. This might cause us to lose a very reachable goal.

Many organizations have tried and failed in the past to acquire better labeling laws. None of the ones I have spoken with every had the opportunity we do with the attorney general's from many states helping to push with us for better labeling.

I hope I have helped you realize what we are up against and I pray that you will now get involved with us and help fight.

Together we can achieve our dreams. We can make the necessary changes in society so we can stay safe and enjoy a high quality of life.

We will of course be doing news interviews, press releases, making phone calls and sending letters and faxes to drum up support for this petition, and we hope you will immediately join financially with us so we can continue to devote our talents to this fight without having to worry about finding the money to do so.

In order to properly address this issue it takes a lot of money, and together we can do this if we put in the effort as an organized group. There are thousands of us who have asked to be on the PeanutAllergy.Com contact list and thousands more who we know use this site, together we also can be a very powerful group if we organize our efforts and pool our resources.

I hope you do support this effort, and will do what you can to push this petition and of great importance SEND A CHECK immediately so we can address this issue. We have worked hard to create a communications center for peanut allergy. Now is the time to start using it for the reasons it was created. To bring us all together to be able to address the issues we face. There is no other organized effort working for us on this issue. Those of us with the allergies are the ones who are leading this effort. We have been involved since the beginning and we must come together as a community if we are to be heard and make these changes. It was decided about a year ago that we could not let our opposition find out what we were trying to do, otherwise we risked losing this opportunity. This has left us in a bad position as we have not started collecting donations to work on this issue. I hope you understand the urgency for the money which we need so we can win this fight. There is the mailing address below to send your support so together we can win. Time is not on our side, we knew this when we started planning for this fight many months ago. I hope you will ask friends, family, and anyone else who cares about those with peanut and food allergies to move quickly in sending a donation so we can prepare financially for the battles ahead.

I am glad you are with us and look forward to what we can accomplish together.

Hope to hear from you soon. I know I can and am relying on you.

Chris Papkee
Founder
PeanutAllergy.Com

Labeling effects us all and even those not in the U.S. should help to fight on this issue. It will help us to push other countries to address their labeling issues and pull us together as a worldwide group.

Peanut allergy does not have boundaries and neither should we. PeanutAllergy.Com members come from all over the world. I hope you understand the big picture of what we are trying to do with this website and bringing us all together to work on the issues we all face. What effects one person in one country does effect those in another country. Some countries are leading the way in dealing with the allergy and some are playing catch up to those who are leading. Either way it is good for all of us who live with this allergy to have better safety measures put in place, locally and globally.

I hope you will join us in meeting this challenge as it will help millions of people.

Stay Safe,

[email]Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com[/email]

Contact info form page/please fill out [url="http://www.peanutallergy.com/formpage.htm"]http://www.peanutallergy.com/formpage.htm[/url]

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Again, glad you are with us and thank you in advance for helping to make a difference.

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Fri, 05-26-00, 23:56

Be sure to not only send a check which is of the utmost importance but also to work on this issue.

Take the press release that is on the link above and be sure your U.S. local and national news media has received it.
You can also copy and paste the press release and/or send the link to the press release (which is on the web) to news organizations as well. Here is the link so you can copy and send it to them
in e mails or by fax, phone etc. You could do a search for news organizations on the web and find their contact info then find out from them who to send the press release to and how they like to receive it, some like it by fax, some by e mail etc. and then send it!
[url="http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html"]http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html[/url]

This is a very important step in pushing this petition, so please work hard on this! If you can, send me an e mail of what you have done so far. We will be explaining the next steps to take soon.

------------------
Stay Safe,

[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

[This message has been edited by Chris PeanutAllergy Com (edited May 26, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Chris PeanutAllergy Com (edited May 26, 2000).]

Groups: None
By Fran on Sat, 05-27-00, 23:22

Here is the e-mail that we sent to the Arizona Attorney General. I will keep you posted as to any responses.

Now is our chance to be heard, everyone...and don't forget to support PeanutAllergy.com

Heartfelt thanks to Chris, Greg and all those involved with this critical petition!

Stay Safe,
Fran

Dear Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano:

We are the parents of a little 5 year old girl who has a life-threatening
peanut allergy. We are very pro-active in her care and carry epinephrine
shots with us wherever we go. We constantly advocate for her life and
educate everyone she is in contact with as to the severity of her allergy.
At 18 months old, we witnessed our little girl going into anaphylactic shock
after ingesting a minute portion of peanut butter. Since that time we have
been extremely cautious as to everything that goes into her mouth...it is
difficult at best to know that the next thing that goes into your little
one's mouth may cause her death.

Although we do everything in our power to protect our daughter's life, we
are not able to be 100% safe due to the fact that manufacturers and
suppliers of food products often keep ingredients a "secret". As you know,
the FDA does not currently make ingredient/allergen labeling mandatory.
Each time we purchase any food, we must scrutinize labels to our best
ability -- we, however, are still NOT able to be certain that the product we
are buying does not contain hidden peanut products (or possibly shared lines
in a plant that manufactures peanut products). Even a trace of peanut
product can kill our child, yet we must be kept in the dark as to what is in
the food we eat.

Therefore, we are respectfully requesting your assistance in this
life-threatening issue. You, along with the support of other caring,
compassionate, responsible and influential persons, can make the battle for
better labeling a reality for the millions of people in our country who must
fear for their lives due to the ignorance and neglect handed to us by food
manufacturers. We urgently encourage you to please make a difference by
signing on to this petition to the FDA. We are not asking for much...only
to be able to have the opportunity to be responsible parents for our child's
life by knowing the true ingredients in a product and be able, therefore, to
select safe foods. By simply making these better regulations mandatory, we
can all continue to do our part.

Here is the link to the press release from the NY State Attorney General's
Office regarding a petition to the FDA for stricter labeling for allergens:
[url="http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html"]http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html[/url]

Thank you so very much for your valued time and support in this most
critical issue. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very Sincerely,

Fran, Mitch and Jamie Stevens
(name, address, phone number, e-mail address included)

__________________

Stay Safe,
Fran

Groups: None
By rilira on Mon, 05-29-00, 21:20

Great letter Fran! Do you mind if I copy some of it to send to the CA. people?

Groups: None
By Fran on Wed, 05-31-00, 02:23

To all those who would like to use parts of my letter to the Attorney
General, please feel free to do so! Below I have posted a "fill in the
blanks" e-mail for those of you who wish to use the letter for their state's
Attorney General. The main thing for everyone to remember is to GET THOSE
LETTERS/E-MAILS, ETC. OUT ASAP! Time is critical right now...we are making
great headway and we need as many signatures and voices to be heard as
possible!

Remember that it is perfectly o.k. to write from your heart...don't worry
about perfection! Of course it is great to have all the right stuff in a
letter, but often the personal touch goes a long way also. As long as you
do SOMETHING, rather than nothing because you feel you are not qualified,
etc. HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD NOW...TOGETHER we can make a difference!

Stay Safe,
Fran

Dear (SPECIFY YOUR STATE) Attorney General (NAME):

We are the parents of a (AGE) year old (BOY/GIRL) who has a life-threatening
peanut allergy. We are very pro-active in (HIS/HER) care and carry
epinephrine
shots with us wherever we go. We constantly advocate for (HIS/HER) life and
educate everyone (HE/SHE) is in contact with as to the severity of (HIS/HER)
allergy.

(IF APPLICABLE ADD PERSONAL INFO HERE, I.E., At (AGE), we witnessed our
little (BOY/GIRL) going into anaphylactic shock after ingesting a minute
portion of peanut butter. Since that time we have
been extremely cautious as to everything that goes into (HIS/HER) mouth...it
is
difficult at best to know that the next thing that goes into your little
one's mouth may cause (HIS/HER) death.

Although we do everything in our power to protect our (SON'S/DAUGHTER'S)
life, we
are not able to be 100% safe due to the fact that manufacturers and
suppliers of food products often keep ingredients a "secret". As you know,
the FDA does not currently make ingredient/allergen labeling mandatory.
Each time we purchase any food, we must scrutinize labels to our best
ability -- we, however, are still NOT able to be certain that the product we
are buying does not contain hidden peanut products (or possibly shared lines
in a plant that manufactures peanut products). Even a trace of peanut
product can kill our child, yet we must be kept in the dark as to what is in
the food we eat.

Therefore, we are respectfully requesting your assistance in this
life-threatening issue. You, along with the support of other caring,
compassionate, responsible and influential persons, can make the battle for
better labeling a reality for the millions of people in our country who must
fear for their lives due to the ignorance and neglect handed to us by food
manufacturers. We urgently encourage you to please make a difference by
signing on to this petition to the FDA. We are not asking for much...only
to be able to have the opportunity to be responsible parents for our child's
life by knowing the true ingredients in a product and be able, therefore, to
select safe foods. By simply making these better regulations mandatory, we
can all continue to do our part.

Here is the link to the press release from the NY State Attorney General's
Office regarding a petition to the FDA for stricter labeling for allergens:
[url="http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html"]http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2000/may/may26a_00.html[/url]

Thank you so very much for your valued time and support in this most
critical issue. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very Sincerely,

(INCLUDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NO., E-MAIL ADDRESS HERE)

__________________

Stay Safe,
Fran

Groups: None
By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Thu, 06-01-00, 15:58

Be sure to let the media know about this press release! You can copy and send it to your local media etc.!!
Work on this, it is important if we are to see better labeling for those with food allergies!!!

------------------
Stay Safe,

[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Groups: None
By jh5000 on Thu, 06-01-00, 19:40

I found a site that lists the addresses and phone numbers of all state Attorneys General as well as a link to the web sites of the states that have them:
[url="http://www.inventorfraud.com/attorneygenerals.htm"]http://www.inventorfraud.com/attorneygenerals.htm[/url]

Groups: None
By Joanne on Thu, 06-01-00, 21:08

Now that this petition has been forwarded to the FDA is there some kind of time frame in which they have to respond?

Groups: None
By Chris LaPlaca on Tue, 06-06-00, 23:22

I've sent emails with the press release address to some Boston-area media such as WBZ-TV, WHDH, WCVB, Globe, Herald, and some north of boston papers: the Lawrence-Eagle Tribune and the Salem News. I just did this last nite and have already heard back from 2 of the t.v. stations looking for more information on the story (and the "human side" with how our family copes). So, it seems the media is very interested in this story.

Groups: None
By ejsonn on Sun, 06-18-00, 02:27

Thanks to all who have done such a good job with this so far. Because we were alerted to this petition, I was able to call a local columnist and she wrote a story about my four and two-year-old sons, both of whom are peanut and egg allergic.

I live in Ohio, one of the states petitioning the FDA. Besides raising media awareness, how else can we help? Can we write to the FDA directly?

Also, I am a freelance journalist writing an essay about living with food allergies and am very interested in any specific anti-labeling intiatives by the Peanut Council or other groups that I could use as examples. If anyone knows of something that illustrates the David and Goliath aspect here, please post!

Thanks so much and thanks again for providing this forum, Chris!

Groups: None
By PattyR on Mon, 06-19-00, 19:50

I too contacted local news agencies and they are interested in our story as well. Here is an email I got today!

I looked up this press release and think it would be a great issue for a
health team report. Would you be willing to talk to us as a parent about
your concerns for your son? Telling your story would help drive home how
important these labels really are. Feel free to email me or call me at ...
We appreciate your interest and hope to work with you soon.
Thanks,
Andrea -WRAL Health Team Producer

[This message has been edited by PattyR (edited July 05, 2000).]

Groups: None
By PattyR on Mon, 06-19-00, 21:27

I just got a call from the producer and they will be coming here on Friday to interview me and my son. Any input would be appreciated! I'll be searching the site to get my facts straight and will try to mention this site and all the support that I get from here. Thanks in advance.

Groups: None
By jdickson6 on Mon, 06-19-00, 22:00

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You are representing many many parents, children, and adults who have this allergy! Our voice will be heard through you!
I think major points that the public doesn't understand is cross-contamination, odor (as my favorite reaction was 37,000 ft up in a plane!) and that this allergy branches off to fruits and legumes (peas, beans, etc). Best of luck to you! I think this is a wonderful step forward!

__________________

Jennifer Dickson
Doctoral Candidate

Groups: None
By on Tue, 07-04-00, 05:56

Okay, I had begun to think that I had gone insane, that perhaps I was only thinking that Canadian labeling was different from American labeling, but I did receive this information from AAIA.
"
Peanut Information

Words which indicate the presence of peanut protein:

Peanut/arachide
Ground nuts/goober nuts/beer nuts
Cachuete/cachuate
Kernal paste
Peanut butter/beurre d'arachide
Mandelona/Nu nuts
Peanut oil, huile d'arachide

Please note the following:

1. The regular peanut oil which is manufactured in Canada and the U>S> should not contain any peanut protein if it has been properly processed. Nevertheless, most people allergic to peanut prefer to avoid all peanut oils. Gourmet or "cold-pressed" oils are less commonly used but they do contain peanut protein and are very dangerous for someone with a peanut allergy.

2.European chocolate may contain traces of peanuts or nuts even though this is not declared on the label. This is because European manufacturers are permitted to use a certain percentage of leftover chocolate from which nuts have been removed.

3. Check skin creams, lip glosses, bird feed, stuffings in toys, craft materials for peanut.

4. Peanut oil must be listed on the label. "Vegetable oil" cannot mean peanut oil.

5. Imported foods must comply with Canadian food ingredients labeling rules. However, manufacturing procedures and risks may differ. Peanut allergy is not as common in Europe.

6. The phrase "may contain traces of peanuts" indicates that the manufacturer wants to alert you to the risk of peanut contamination. Avoid these products.

7. Under the present rules, "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" could contain peanut, but in practice it is unlikely that Canadian manufacturers would use peanut. Call the manufacturer to verify this, especially with respect to imported products.

8. The food inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are well trained with respect to the importance of safe handling of peanut and other allergens and are wonderful advocates for the allergic population. However, they cannot be everywhere at all times, so it is import to become aware of the major manufacturing risks. Some people feel that there is less risk of contamination in foods manufactured by large North American companies and particularly in foods manufactured in large quantities on a single production line. In general, a large company with a well trained staff and dedicated production lines is probably safer than a small company making many products on a single production line.

9. Call the 1-800 numbers on food products if you have questions. And, if you buy a product which you suspect contains peanut which is not indicated on the label, call the CFIA in Quebec at 450-646-1353. Save the wrapping and any leftover product.

10. People allergic to peanut can usually eat other legumes and nutmeg, water chestnuts and coconut, unless they have a specific allergy to these foods. Other nuts are often avoided because of the risk of confusion or contamination.

Note: This is not a substitute for professional advice. See your allergist for diagnosis, treatment and specific instructions.

Mary Allen, Regional Coordinator
AAIA Quebec Region, 1998, 514-694-0679

Approved and translated into French by Dr. John Weisnagel, MD, Past-president of the Association of Allergists and Immunologists of Quebec, Internet site: http:/www.allerg.qc.ca"

Does this mean our labeling tends to more correct than in America?

------------------

Groups: None
By Cayley's Mom on Thu, 06-07-01, 16:17

This thread has some great info on a labeling petition presented to the FDA through the efforts of Chris and his army of labeling activists. Great work!

Chris will be speaking with a representative from the FDA on Fri. June 8. Please send any stories you have of product reactions, recent or otherwise, to:

[email]"safetycampaign@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Good luck Chris!

Groups: None
By AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis on Fri, 07-20-01, 16:34

I know someone in the FDA well (just put a message into them) and also two political figures well (one already has all the info and is VERY interested) (contacting the other). Will let you know of any major developments.

Also, have contacts to speak with Donna Shalala but don't know if that will be helpful. What do you think? I can call her if that would be helpful.

Groups: None

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