FDA - New List of Tree Nuts (includes coconut and shea nut)

Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 9:14am
bandbmom's picture
Joined: 12/14/2005 - 09:00

I received this information from one of the local support group leaders in my area:

The FDA has just added Shea Nut and Coconut to the list of Tree Nuts in their definition for the purposed of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection

Here is the link - question #25 lists all the tree nuts.

[url="http://www.cfsan."]http://www.cfsan.[/url] fda.gov/~ dms/alrguid4. html


Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 11:08am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

I fixed the link:
Thanks for the list!
[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited November 13, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 11:12am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

coconut is a tree nut???????????

Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 11:50am
starlight's picture
Joined: 01/16/2004 - 09:00

Erik, no, it's not. It's a tree FRUIT. The US FDA is not the brightest group of people. *eyeroll*
I am not allergic to treenuts, so the new increase in treenut labelling caused by the stupidity of the FDA won't affect me. But I feel really horrible for everyone who IS TNA and will now have to call to make sure it's a coconut warning and not a sudden change of manufacturing practices. Fortunately coconut isn't used as widely as peanuts or real tree nuts, so I guess it won't be THAT big an issue...

Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2006 - 1:20pm
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b]coconut is a tree nut???????????[/b]
ah...once again I will post this page:
Fruits Called Nuts
It explains the differences between true nuts, tree nuts, drupaceous drupes, and seeds.
It's an interesting read, and explains how coconuts can be considered "nuts" given their endocarp/drupe-like status.
I am in no way allergic to coconut, so...as starlight said it's going to suck a bit for me that things may be labeled with a tree nut warning, when indeed it's just coconut.
however, I've recently started doing a 'whole foods' thing as I get myself in better shape, and eating less manufactured food anyway...so it won't affect me TOO much.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Adrienne
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2006 - 2:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b]coconut is a tree nut???????????[/b]
Only in America. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
They've also listed lichee fruit. (When the fruit is dried it is called a nut.)

Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2006 - 5:53am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

This is frustrating as this creates such confusion, especially as it relates to coconut, the fruit of the palm.
&@$#^$*!)$(#)(***!!!! Ugh.

Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2006 - 6:43am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

yes.. here is an example:
DARE makes cookies in their nut-free/peanut-free facility.. it even says "nut-free/peanut-free" on the packaging.
But one flavour they make is the DARE "Coconut creme" cookie. So if "coconut" is being classified as a "tree nut", does this mean that they will have to remove the "nut-free facility" label from the packaging? And they will have to add "May Contain Nuts" to all of their packaged cookies????????? Doesn't seem helpful to me at all.
Labelling coconut as a tree nut will just make it much more difficult to find safe food that does not have 'may contain nuts' labelling on it.

Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2006 - 6:47am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Eric, I was just muttering to myself about Dare cookies with coconut & how in the h3ll they are going to have to navigate this.
Still muttering,

Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2006 - 6:50am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

I just have to add, does the FDA NOT have some sort of "EXPERT" on its staff regarding what an ingredient actually IS as far as classification?!!?!?!?!
Next thing we know they will lump all meat products under the heading "bird" and force items with beef in them to state "may contain bird"!!
OMG, just moronic.

Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2006 - 7:02am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

I think the FDA is classifying coconut (the whole entity...shell and all) as a "seed" --- which technically it is if you follow a botanist's definition. I think we just see it as a fruit b/c it's so fleshy and that's the part we eat.
I've seen coconut classified as a "drupe", and almonds also fall under that botanical category. So...if coconuts aren't nuts, then neither are almonds. But, we see almonds as a "tree nut"
I quickly googled and it seems the lychee is also a drupe!
Why don't they just create another label, "may contain drupe seeds" and be done with it.
Though, "tree nuts" are mostly technically "drupes" or "dry drupes" or "drupaceous drupes" if you follow the correct classification. The term "tree nuts" is just slang.
I'm frustrated too about this -- but botanical families and ways to categorize/define true nuts, seeds, fruits, drupes is very tricky...hence the problem for us.
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy


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