We need to work so that "May Contain Peanuts" always means the same thing. It is now up to each individual manufacturer to decide how to use it. It is also not a law so they are doing so voluntarily (we are grateful to the ones who are trying!) We need to work to have a standard for this "may contain peanuts" statement! The statement will help to avoid products that are labeled with "may contain peanuts" but we won't know about the other products that the company makes that do not have this label on them. They could be safe or unsafe still. A product might be made on a machine next to another machine making peanut products and become contaminated but because it was not made on the same line it might not be labeled with "may contain peanuts". We need to get the governments involved in this! Let's put together our resources and address this! Some of you have e mailed me that you want to change the laws regarding labeling. Keep using these boards and lets get to work.
On Mar 2, 1999
Chris, I agree. A more uniform definition of "may contain peanuts" would go a long way in helping us decide what is safe and not safe(not that I would ever use something labelled may contain..) Just wanted to throw my two cents in regarding changing/making labelling laws. From our support groups conversations with various officials we have found out that such an undertaking would be a MONUMENTAL effort. For example a State Assemblyman that we talked to made an effort to make a simple change in labelling. He wanted the word Peanut in the ingredients written in bold letters so it would stand out. His efforts never even got in the front door,if you know what I mean, and he is a well respected and high ranking Assemblyman. All labelling laws are Federally controlled and no individual states may alter them and I think we are all aware of how hard it is to get the Federal Gov't to change anything! I'm not trying to discourage anyone here, In fact I'm trying to prod people along. To enact/change a labelling law,letter writing is not going to do it. The people who count need to see real faces,real facts,real numbers. They need to see that this issue is so important that we are willing to go out and do something about it and not just stand around and complain. When they see things like this Website(Thanks for your hard work on this,by the way),Parents fighting unresponsive schools,taking their own time and money(and it takes a lot of both) to educate their communities and themselves, and generally willing to make a nuisance of themselves when necessary, they won't have any choice but to take notice. Unfortunately, the fact is the number of peanut allergy sufferers is small nationwide. The fact is also peanut allergies is one of the most deadly of all allergies. We need all involved to make a whole lot of noise.
On Mar 7, 1999
I work in the food manuf industry & our company has just begun collecting allergen info from all suppliers - a few of us that work there have children with pnt allergy - so we are involved.
Getting a new law would be really difficult - food manufacturers balk at the slightest change in their labeling and it does require a big undertaking - the recent addtion of Folic Acid required thousands of label changes for my company & 3 people working on it constantly for an entire year.
I totally support & we be a part of any push to have labeling changed. Contact me with what we need to do. I think letter writing compaigns to manufacturers & restaurant chains may also be another avenue. I think many of them wouldhave the capability to add may contain & also offer their definition. I think many companies will also tell you what their HAACP plan is - perhaps that will help us judge what is truly safe. Nothing has ever prompted me to political action before (besides voting). Would also like to see a nationwide ban on peanuts from daycare & schools. I supported that before I had a child with peanut allergy & now I'm willing to write & call who we need to. I intend on writing everyone I can find at the state level to start with. Any suggestions?
On Mar 11, 1999
HI GUYS, I JUST WANT TO SAY I AM BEHIND YOU ALL THE WAY. I JUST NEED A LITTLE MORE DIRECTION AND I WILL CAL,WRITE, E-MAIL AND EVEN GO VISIT(IF ITS LOCAL). PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT I CAN DO. I A'M A STAY AT HOME MOM AND CAN MAKE TIME IN MY WEEK FOR JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.
On Mar 26, 1999
I think this is a very difficult issue. Myself I prefer that labeling "may contain traces of peanut" is an option that helpful and responsible companies will choose. Please remember that just because there is a law...does NOT ensure compliance. We are in fact a small percentage of the population and as with any disease, those who have it must take precautions...sometimes these are inconvenient...sometimes very inconvenient. Not making food from fresh ingredients is an OPTION that is available to us. Food manufacturers are sometimes very helpful...sometimes not. The ones that label, in my experience are consistent when I telephone and ask them about there labeling policies. Since they are so reliable I choose to use their products. The companies that don't label I stay clear of. I would never want to place my child's safety in the hands of an unknown decision maker. (Do they follow this new law...or not) Are you willing to assume this if there is a law? I further feel that many unnecessary labels will be carrying this warning if it becomes a legal issue. 1-800 numbers are extremely helpful in this regard.
On Oct 17, 1999
I have seen some new labels of late (Ontario, Canada) that state much more specific information. Something like "made on a nut free line", "made in a nut free plant" etc.
This leads me to believe that all of our telephoning for specific information does have some impact on responsible companies. Sorry to say, I don't recall which copanies these were.
On Oct 30, 1999
Here is a link to our recent mailing to the maillist regarding labeling changes. We are working with (let's just say for now... a government agency. We do not want to announce whom until the timing is correct because we have to be careful. We do not want to have our effort squashed (politically by the manufacturers organizations etc.) before it gets off the ground). Here is the text from the mailing and a link to the page will be at the end of this post. If you did not receive this in your e mail recently. You are not on the mail list. Please get on this list! This is very important to finding out what is going on in our community and is how we let you know what we need!
Here is a link to the form to fill out to be on the mail list. Please fill out all info so we do not have to contact you for more. Which takes precious time when we could be working on other issues. We do not want to lose you because an e mail address becomes undeliverable for whatever reason. [url="http://www.nutallergy.com/maillist.htm"]http://www.nutallergy.com/maillist.htm[/url] [url="http://www.nutallergy.com/maillist.htm"]http://www.nutallergy.com/maillist.htm[/url]
This is a copy of the important letter we sent to everyone on our mail list. If you did not receive it please sign up now! (see above)
Here is how you can help! We need your financial support and your experiences in writing!
We are exploring how changes in food labeling, ingredient information dissemination, manufacturing methods and other approaches could create a safer and easier life for people afflicted with severe food allergies and their care givers (Actually we are close to writing the final draft of a petition to the FDA and need your financial support to work on getting it passed. We also want your input on what you would like to see written into this petition). In order to justify and better design any activities in furtherance of those goals, there is a need for hard evidence of real life problems that families and individuals have suffered. Detailed narratives of situations which have led to unintended exposures to foods to which you or your loved ones or friends are/were allergic are particularly useful. Such information as how the exposure took place, what the food was, what information was available about the ingredients, etc. and the results of that exposure -- what health ramifications occurred and how they were resolved are all very valuable. Difficulty that people face avoiding foods and ingredients that pose a threat is an important topic as well. Please make an effort to create a complete story. Reference to hard evidence like medical documents, package labels, letters, lab tests, and correspondence with company or governmental representatives would be helpful as well. Time is of the essence -- your prompt help would be appreciated.
NOTE: Please don't forget to include permission to use your stories, your contact information and acknowledgment that it would be okay for someone (such as a lawmaker) to contact you (They may want to hear first hand so they have a better understanding).
We need stories and financial support from all people who are affected by labeling due to food allergy. If you know of or can find others with any food allergy that can contribute, please forward or print this email, contact them etc.. We need everyone's support (This is not just a request to people with peanut allergy!). This effort is to help all who suffer from food allergies! If there are discussion boards on other sites etc. that this request belongs on, or other organizations dealing with food allergies etc. that can help, please contact them to further this effort (e mail all your friends!) Inform others about this effort! Have them contact us here at PeanutAllergy.Com! We hope we have informed and alerted you to how important this is and that we hope you will do what you can to support and spread the word about this effort.
Below are ways to send your stories and information and your much needed financial support. Please make the effort necessary to contribute to this worthy effort! We are collecting/organizing all the information here at PeanutAllergy.Com. We expect a lot of opposition to this "better labeling" (from manufacturer's organizations etc.), please help us be financially prepared to handle the well funded opposition. Send your financial support today! We have been working on this along with many activists and researchers. We have experience and knowledge of what (and who) we are up against, we have been in contact with other food allergy groups and we have learned from their years of work on this topic as well.
Together we can make a difference! Please help us help you. Stay Safe, [email]Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com[/email]
Please help us work on this issue, send checks to: PeanutAllergy.Com
Call (781) 395-9530 to use your credit card or you can fax, e mail etc. your info if you prefer.
Send info and your financial help to:
MAILING ADDRESS: (for checks and info sent regular mail) PeanutAllergy.Com 123 Grant Ave. Medford, MA 02155 USA
email address [email]Labeling@PeanutAllergy.Com[/email]
Home page: [url="http://www.PeanutAllergy.Com"]http://www.PeanutAllergy.Com[/url]
PHONE NUMBER 1-781-395-9530
FAX NUMBER 1-603-388-5483
Again, together we can make a difference. Please get involved today! Time is of the essence!
We already are under great pressure financially, please help us to work on this issue! Send a check today!
------------------ Stay Safe
On Oct 30, 1999
A reporter from USA today will be checking this thread for info for an upcoming (soon) article about the "may contain peanut" label. Please put any comments you wish him to see on this thread. If you do not know how to post on the discussion board you can e mail the info to the address below and put in the subject line "may contain peanut label" to help us to organize the info. We will forward any info you would like him to hear or see.
If you wish to learn to post you can click on the faq on the top right of the board page and read the frequently asked questions to learn. Don't worry about making mistakes we can fix them. Just let us know by e mail that you want us to help you fix something.
------------------ Stay Safe