KIRO TV (Seattle): New Requirements For Food Labels

Posted on: Thu, 07/22/2004 - 2:31am
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Anna was the one who was heavily involved in grassroots advocacy re:FALCPA. In the Take Action thread, I had posted that she was offering to make postcards to send to members of Congress with kids pictures on them to bring visibility to the FALCPA legislation...

New Requirements For Food Labels
POSTED: 3:24 PM PDT July 21, 2004
UPDATED: 9:23 AM PDT July 22, 2004

SEATTLE -- A bill just cleared Congress that will require food labels to list allergens in plain language.

It will help protect 11 million Americans with food allergies, which includes a local family whose son has a life-threatening allergy.

Anna McCartney recalls the first and only time her son Ewan ate eggs. Within 20 minutes he suffered a horrific allergic reaction.

"His throat ended up swelling shut and he was not able to breathe," McCartney said. "He went unconscious and by the time paramedics arrived he had no heartbeat."

Now, McCartney's kitchen is an egg free zone and deciphering food labels is a constant struggle.

Eighteen different chemical names exist just for egg proteins, such as Albumin, Ovomucoid, Um Lechithin and Livitin.

Anna never lets her guard down, she said.

"For our family it is the difference between life and death," McCartney said.

Now, Congress has just passed a bill requiring food manufacturers to list eight major food allergens in plain language on their products.

The major food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.

"A 7-year-old will be able to read a label and know if it says milk, eggs or soy, that's what we're looking for," said Anne Munoz-Furlong of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

The bill also requires inspections at food makers to uncover accidental contamination with allergens.

McCartney says she encouraged Washington State Legislators to co-sponsor the bill. It will mean more peace of mind for families, relatives and even schools.

"(For) everyone who might take care of or feed a child with food allergies, it's going to make everything easier," McCartney said.

The new, less confusing, language will be required on all food labels after Jan. 1, 2006.

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