What Is The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act?

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)

An important part of peanut allergy awareness was enacted on January 1, 2006 the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that, "All packaged foods regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFD&C Act) that are labeled on or after January 1, 2006, must comply with FALCPA's food allergen labeling requirements." This includes imported foods.

This act mandates that eight major food allergens be labeled in language that is easy to understand:

    1. Peanuts
    2. Milk
    3. Egg
    4. Fish
    5. Crustacean shellfish
    6. Tree nuts
    7. Wheat
    8. Soybeans

Federal Benefits for Children With Food Allergies

In the US, children who suffer from food allergies that can be life-threatening, including peanut allergy, may be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (S. 504) which prohibits disability-based discrimination. Whether or not coverage applies to everyone with a food allergy is a subject of some debate. Consult with your local school district or other local jurisdiction to determine how these federal provisions relate to your peanut allergy awareness case.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA says:

"A customer with a food allergy may ask a restaurant if it is possible to omit a sauce or ingredient from a dish he or she wishes to order. When it is easy to do, the request should be honored."

However, the ADA protects restaurants from having to make so-called "fundamental alterations", meaning changes in their food, products, or services that are sufficiently significant to alter the nature of the product they offer.

Therefore, it is reasonable to ask for peanut products to be removed from certain dishes, but a restaurant does not have to comply with a request for a special dish that has no such products and is not remotely part of their menu. The ADA only requires them to make "reasonable modifications."

Rehabilitation Act

Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act begins by stating: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 7(20), shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service."

U.S. State Laws

Most US states for peanut allergy awareness have laws that allow children to carry prescribed epinephrine to school with them If your state is not on the list below, contact your local representative or assembly person and ask what can be done to change the laws and allow your child to bring prescribed epinephrine to school.

Source: U.S. Food And Drug Administration
Photo: Pexels

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