Please Help us pass the Food Allergen Act

Posted on: Fri, 10/17/2003 - 1:31pm
momma2boys's picture
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At the meeting tonight we discussed different courses of action in promoting our cause. The area we decided to put our effort in is getting the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.

What we need EVERYONE to do is write personally to your senators and congressmen and women. This is our chance to make a difference. A similar bill was recently passed in Europe and we can do it here too.

I am posting this link with info about the act and Im doing some research to find out when this bill is brought up again.

[url="http://www.shamrockbay.com/FA/FoodAllergenProtection.shtml"]http://www.shamrockbay.com/FA/FoodAllergenProtection.shtml[/url]

on this link you can click on house or senate and these links will take you to a place where you can find out the name and address of your representatives.

Every letter will help! I will keep you posted.

Posted on: Fri, 10/17/2003 - 11:48pm
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I thought I would post a copy of the letter on foodallergyinitiative.org. I am going to personalize it a little but I think it's helpful to start with if you haven't written a letter like this before.
I am writing to respectfully request your support of the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act.
Over seven million American children and adults suffer from food allergies. Recent studies estimate that each year over 200 Americans die due to the ingestion of allergenic foods and 30,000 receive life-saving treatment in emergency rooms. The good news is that with the government's help, many of these deaths and near-fatal incidents can be prevented.
The only way to avoid a potentially life-threatening food allergic reaction is to avoid the food allergen. Unfortunately, reading ingredient labels is difficult because ingredient statements are written for scientists, not consumers. There are over 30 of terms for milk and over 18 terms for egg. Furthermore, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act exempts natural and artificial flavorings from ingredient labeling requirements. This is dangerous and wrong because these terms may refer to any food, including milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 12:49am
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Here's my letter, feel free to use.
Dear
I am writing to respectfully request your support of the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act.
My son has a fatal peanut allergy. I live in fear everyday and will for the rest of my life that he will eat something with unknown peanut in it and die quicker than anyone will be able to help him as the peanut allergy reaction is extremely swift and severe and is the number one cause of fatal food reactions. My heart breaks for my son everyday when I see children who are able to eat freely and not have to worry about allergic death from the everyday foods they eat. Right now there are very few companies that you can trust the labeling from and it makes our lives so hard to try and accomplish such a simple thing as eating meals that other people take for granted everyday. To pass this act and make companies responsible for telling us everything that is in their foods would make so much difference in our lives. Please help us.
My understanding is that the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act, among other things, would: require that labels list in common language if any of the eight main food allergens are contained in the product; it would require that the main allergens be disclosed if used in spices, natural flavorings, additives and colorings

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 1:10am
momma2boys's picture
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Great letter!!!

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 1:57am
PB hater's picture
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Do we know what the timeline is for this bill - How much time we have to make contacts?

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 5:23am
momma2boys's picture
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Im trying to find that out, if anyone has any info please let us know.

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 2:44pm
Dawn's picture
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PB hater, thanks for posting those copies of the letters...makes it easier to get started when you've never written a letter like this before! I've sent my version off to my Representative and Senators. Will post any replies.

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 12:26am
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[url="http://www.foodallergy.org/Advocacy/advocacy3.html"]http://www.foodallergy.org/Advocacy/advocacy3.html[/url]
this link contains tips on contacting your representatives.

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 12:58am
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This lists the co-sponsors of this bill. Anyone who lives in the area they represent may want to write them asking for continues support, etc.
H.R.467
Title: To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that foods containing spices, flavoring, or coloring derived from meat, poultry, other animal products (including insects), or known allergens bear labeling stating that fact and their names.
Sponsor: Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] (introduced 1/29/2003) Cosponsors: 12
Latest Major Action: 2/14/2003 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jump to: Titles, Status, Committees, Related Bill Details, Amendments, Cosponsors, Summary
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TITLE(S): (italics indicate a title for a portion of a bill)
SHORT TITLE(S) AS INTRODUCED:
Food Ingredient Right to Know Act
OFFICIAL TITLE AS INTRODUCED:
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that foods containing spices, flavoring, or coloring derived from meat, poultry, other animal products (including insects), or known allergens bear labeling stating that fact and their names.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STATUS: (color indicates Senate actions)
1/29/2003:
Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
2/14/2003:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
COMMITTEE(S):
Committee/Subcommittee: Activity:
House Energy and Commerce Referral
Subcommittee on Health Referral
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RELATED BILL DETAILS:
***NONE***
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AMENDMENT(S):
***NONE***
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COSPONSORS(12), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. - 1/29/2003 [CT-3] Rep Frost, Martin - 2/27/2003 [TX-24]
Rep Kaptur, Marcy - 2/27/2003 [OH-9] Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. - 5/8/2003 [OH-10]
Rep Lee, Barbara - 1/29/2003 [CA-9] Rep Miller, George - 2/27/2003 [CA-7]
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. - 2/27/2003 [NJ-6] Rep Rothman, Steve R. - 5/8/2003 [NJ-9]
Rep Sanders, Bernard - 2/27/2003 [VT] Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. - 5/8/2003 [IL-9]
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete - 2/27/2003 [CA-13] Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. - 2/27/2003 [CA-6]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY AS OF:
1/29/2003--Introduced.
Food Ingredient Right to Know Act - Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide that a food shall be deemed to be misbranded if it contains any spice, flavoring, or coloring derived from meat, poultry, any other animal product (including insects), or a known food allergen unless its labeling bears a statement with appropriate prominence on the information panel providing that fact and the name of the meat, poultry, other animal product, or known food allergen.

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 1:08am
momma2boys's picture
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Bill Summary & Status for the 107th Congress
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Item 1 of 1
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PREVIOUS:ALL | NEXT:ALL
NEW SEARCH | HOME | HELP
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H.R.4704
Title: To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish labeling requirements regarding allergenic substances in food, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] (introduced 5/9/2002) Cosponsors: 28
Related Bills: S.2499
Latest Major Action: 5/17/2002 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jump to: Titles, Status, Committees, Related Bill Details, Amendments, Cosponsors, Summary
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TITLE(S): (italics indicate a title for a portion of a bill)
SHORT TITLE(S) AS INTRODUCED:
Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act
OFFICIAL TITLE AS INTRODUCED:
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish labeling requirements regarding allergenic substances in food, and for other purposes.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STATUS: (color indicates Senate actions)
5/9/2002:
Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
5/17/2002:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
COMMITTEE(S):
Committee/Subcommittee: Activity:
House Energy and Commerce Referral
Subcommittee on Health Referral
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RELATED BILL DETAILS: (additional related bills may be indentified in Status)
Bill: Relationship:
S.2499 Identical bill identified by CRS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AMENDMENT(S):
***NONE***
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COSPONSORS(28), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)
Rep Brown, Sherrod - 7/8/2002 [OH-13] Rep DeFazio, Peter A. - 7/8/2002 [OR-4]
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. - 5/23/2002 [CT-3] Rep Frank, Barney - 5/9/2002 [MA-4]
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. - 6/4/2002 [NY-26] Rep Hoeffel, Joseph M. - 10/9/2002 [PA-13]
Rep Holt, Rush D. - 6/18/2002 [NJ-12] Rep Israel, Steve - 5/9/2002 [NY-2]
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs - 5/9/2002 [OH-11] Rep Kildee, Dale E. - 5/9/2002 [MI-9]
Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. - 5/9/2002 [OH-10] Rep Langevin, James R. - 9/17/2002 [RI-2]
Rep Lee, Barbara - 5/9/2002 [CA-9] Rep Levin, Sander M. - 5/15/2002 [MI-12]
Rep McKinney, Cynthia A. - 5/9/2002 [GA-4] Rep Mink, Patsy T. - 5/9/2002 [HI-2]
Rep Morella, Constance A. - 5/9/2002 [MD-8] Rep Nadler, Jerrold - 5/9/2002 [NY-8]
Rep Neal, Richard E. - 10/8/2002 [MA-2] Rep Owens, Major R. - 5/9/2002 [NY-11]
Rep Price, David E. - 7/26/2002 [NC-4] Rep Rangel, Charles B. - 5/9/2002 [NY-15]
Rep Rivers, Lynn N. - 5/9/2002 [MI-13] Rep Rothman, Steve R. - 11/13/2002 [NJ-9]
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille - 5/23/2002 [CA-33] Rep Smith, Adam - 7/23/2002 [WA-9]
Rep Tierney, John F. - 10/9/2002 [MA-6] Rep Velazquez, Nydia M. - 5/9/2002 [NY-12]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY AS OF:
5/9/2002--Introduced.
Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act - Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require food labels to identify known food allergens contained therein or be deemed misbranded, without regard as to whether or not the presence of an allergen is intentional or unintentional.
Defines "known food allergen" to include milk, eggs, fish, Crustacea, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, other grains containing gluten, and any food the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines to cause allergic or adverse responses which endanger human health. Includes spices, flavorings, colorings, or incidental additives that are or contain a known food allergen.
Sets forth special requirements for raw agricultural commodities which are or contain a known food allergen.
Sets forth criteria for labels, requiring a format comparable to that required for the disclosure of nutrition information. Requires certain manufacturers, packers, or distributors to include a toll-free telephone number on such label.
Establishes civil penalties for violations of this Act.
Requires the Secretary to issue rules which address the use of good manufacturing practices to minimize the unintentional presence of allergens in food and advisory labeling if such allergens may be unintentionally present.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, to annually publish national data on the prevalence of food allergies and the incidence of deaths and injuries. Requires the Secretary to study the adequacy of existing data collection systems and possible alternative systems as well as educate health providers on improving data collection and analysis.

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 2:53am
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I have been thinking of ways to get this bill passed. I will, of course, write to members of congress...as well as have every relative and friend I can get to write too.
Thanks for the copies of letters. I was thinking of something along those lines.... Could we get a brief form letter that we could run copies of. It would be so much easier to get others (family, friends) to send them.
I like the personalized letter also. I think for those who have PA, we have to let them know what it is like--perhaps even put a picture in the letter...to give PA (and all food allergies) a face for them. I know before I had to deal with food allergies, I had no clue what it was like. So you just don't eat peanuts (milk, eggs, whatever)--no big deal. And then reality hit...and you start really reading labels and doing research and calling companies(some not very friendly ones) to find out what is really in their product. Then you worry about the cross-contamination issues. You find you even have to do research with medications--since their inactive ingredients could be an allergen (and listed under those 'natural flavorings'). You find ingredients you would never dream of in a product (fish-anchovies in worst. sauce? wheat in liquorice? milk ingredients in suckers?). We have to remember we are most likely dealing with people (in congress) who have no idea about all this!! We have to make them understand and the bill will pass.
I also thought of how we could get more people to contact members of congress. Would petitions be good? Could we contact allergists and ask them to write letters also? Could we ask them to put form letters in their offices for people to pick up a copy and send if they are interested in helping the cause? Are there any allergy-aware companies that would write, or call, or speak with members of congress in their home state??
How about a one-on-one meeting with congress members? I know they don't have time to meet with us all, but maybe if we could get someone to present petitions or lots of letters at that time, as well as give them information and ask their support. Again, I just think letters and e-mails are great, but we need them to put a face with this. I cannot imagine them not supporting this if they could see all those little faces (and grown-up faces too--I just happen to have a small one, and tend to think in those terms! sorry!)
One last thing--what about other allergy sites/organizations?? Could we ask them to post a form letter on their sites?? And provide the links for the addresses for congrss members??
Sorry I'm rambling, but just some things I have been thinking!

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 9:44am
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Megans mommy: I LOVE THE PICTURE IDEA. Maybe if they could put a face to these severe allergies it would help.
I think making it personnal also helps.
PBHATER: Like you I fear these allergies. I fear that one day I wont know enough or be quick enough. I am in tears right now bc that is my worst fear. And we live with it everyday. I get so angry bc how do we make people understand how seriuos these allergies are and make them want to help us protect the people we love? How can we make them understand what its like to live with these allergies and to always live in fear of the known and unknown?
I will send my letter in and I hope we get someones attention.
[This message has been edited by ALLERGYMOM (edited October 20, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 10:21am
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I was a little unclear from the meeting on Friday...who specifically are you going to contact and who should I contact and what should I ask? I will definitely contact my congessman (Frank Pallone)- he introduced the bill. What about the national organizations like FAAN, AANMA, AAFA, etc? I would appreciate it if you'd email me off boards at [email]ajs375@nyu.edu[/email]
Thanks,
Allison

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 11:30pm
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I called Frank Pallone's office today. I was mistaken in my prior post- he supports the bill but did not introduce it. His office suggested I contact Rep Nita Lowey because she actually introduced the bill. I called and am waiting to hear back. I will also call the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Allison

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 11:55pm
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Allison, I contacted my reps. and Im trying to find out when this goes forward. I believe it was Going Nuts who was going to contact some of the org. but Im not positive.

Posted on: Tue, 10/21/2003 - 2:34am
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I'm so glad someone mentioned photos as I was going to suggest that when I posted my letter and forgot. I'm including a photo of my DS on the letter. Also, I am going to write a much more brief letter that I will ask friends and family members to send so I will post that soon (I think that's what you're looking for, megan's mommy?) If we provide the letter to use, can we get every member on this site to send it? Can we get them to send 10 by giving to family and friends?

Posted on: Tue, 10/21/2003 - 3:23pm
PB hater's picture
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momma2boys - I looked for an email for you that I could email you offline about this but didn't find one in your profile. I saw your post under meeting ideas about hoping for more enthusiasm from everyone on writing senators. I am sure there wouldn't be any reason that someone on this site wouldn't support the bills but there could be lots of reasons why they wouldn't get the letters sent. I tried to think of ways we could make it even easier and wondered if I wrote a letter, filled in the correct senators, put the person's name at the bottom and set it to them with an envelope that had the senator's mailing address on it so all they had to do was sign it, put it in the envelope and put a stamp on it (maybe I would even put the stamp on)....then maybe the number of letters sent would go up. Sound crazy? I'm not beyond crazy if it would help get this bill passed however. Do you think it would help. I know I feel strongly about this and even posted my letters here but haven't mailed them yet so what about others that work 70 hours a week or have an even more hectic day than me, and then on top of that don't have their senator's addresses, etc. Would just be too much. Let me know what you think. I would just need people to email me their name and address with zip code, then I could look up the senators, make their letter and send it off to them to sign and mail so it would be postmarked in their state of course. If I didn't think I had time to do it on my own but someone said they would write the letter for me, get the mailing info. and all I had to do was sign it and mail it to help make a difference on this bill, I would do that....what do you think?

Posted on: Tue, 10/21/2003 - 4:19pm
PB hater's picture
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Letter I will ask my family members to sign and send - feel free to use:
Dear Senator Harkin:
I am writing to respectfully request your support of the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act, H.R. #4704 sponsored by Representative Nita M. Lowey (NY

Posted on: Tue, 10/21/2003 - 4:21pm
PB hater's picture
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Letter I will ask friends to sign and send - please feel free to use.
Dear Senator Harkin:
I am writing to respectfully request your support of the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act, H.R. #4704 sponsored by Representative Nita M. Lowey (NY

Posted on: Wed, 10/22/2003 - 12:25am
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Do you think email is as effective as snail mail? I emailed my Rep and 2 Senators and have received acknoweledgement, with the promise of a reply. I'm asking my family to send emails, sending them the text of what I'd like sent, and all they need to do is put their name and send it off to their Reps and Senators via email. As easy as forwarding jokes, just a little cut & paste.
Here's a link to the House of Representatives site, which can get you to your Rep's personal site:
[url="http://www.house.gov/"]http://www.house.gov/[/url]
editing in to add the Senate link: [url="http://www.senate.gov/"]http://www.senate.gov/[/url]
Wondering if I should follow up my email with a handwritten note?
[This message has been edited by Dawn (edited October 22, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 10/22/2003 - 12:35am
momma2boys's picture
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Dawn, I emailed mine as well. I think that it is just as effective. Maybe more so. Otherwise they would request you mail it in instead of email. Or maybe its easier to press delete than open it and then throw it away. Who knows.
If anyone receives a reply, please post it.

Posted on: Wed, 10/22/2003 - 12:37am
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Here's the letter I am forwarding to my family and friends, asking them to put in the appropriate words (nephew, friend, etc) - which I highlighted in red on their copies - and then asking them to send them to their Senators and Reps.
Certainly not an original letter - wish I could remember all the original authors to give credit where it's due! But hopefully, it will be effective.
Dear (Congressman or Senator

Posted on: Thu, 10/23/2003 - 9:49am
ALLERGYMOM's picture
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I like the petition plan also.
How would I get one started? I would totally do that. Let me know if you have any ideas. I think we could all make some waves here.
I plan to send an email also. But I am not very ummm articulate when it comes to writting letters like that. I am trying though. I have typed one up 3 times in the last 3 days and delete it everytime. If anyone could help maybe off the boards it would be great [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Thank you

Posted on: Thu, 10/23/2003 - 11:30am
momma2boys's picture
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allergymom, hi again. I dont think you need to worry too much about being articulate. You just need to tell them your situation and speak from your heart about your fears and how difficult it is.
basically what I did was take one of the form letters thats posted and personalize it with facts of our situation.
Im sure what you've written is just fine!

Posted on: Fri, 11/14/2003 - 2:54pm
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Hi everyone. I'm a first time poster here
(I think!) and I was told about the grass
roots effort starting here by a couple of your members.
My name is Jim and I have a web page with
information about food allergy legislation.
Its kind of dense and not visually moving,
but after you've had a chance to absorb it,
the bottom line is that legislation to protect those with food allergies is a real bear to get passed.
The food industry hates it with a passion,
and the interest groups that are pushing for it have resorted to a variety of "tactics" to try to overcome this intense opposition.
Sadly, despite a summer of hard work, its not looking good right now. I had reasonably good information from one of my representative's aids that legislation would be introduced (FOR THE FOURTH TIME) this September. That obviously didn't happen. There is a still a chance since the session isn't over, but odds are looking slim.
Since there is no bill currently on the floor, the only thing to do is to write and ask your representative to CO-SPONSER the
FALCPA (the name its been introduced under the last three times).
When a rep co-sponsors a bill, they sign on up front and are fully committed. Its kind of like a promise to vote for it when it is finally voted on. It also sends a strong message to the rest of the house that there exists support for the bill.
If your representative says they will vote for it if it comes up, and thats as far as they are willing to go, well, thats worth the electrons the promise is printed on.
Anyway, I hope this and the web site are useful resources to you. I'd appreciate any feedback or questions you have that would enable me to make the resource more useful to those of you that are interested in making this happen.
Good luck to us all!

Posted on: Thu, 11/20/2003 - 10:33pm
Alex Plotkin's picture
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Hello Everyone,
I have had a chance to read all of your postings and we totally agree that YOU, the consumer, must unify and make every effort to get this passed, however, WE, the manufacturers, MUST also make every effort to pull together and show our Congressmen that we (manufacturers) are ready and willing to make the necessary changes regardless of the costs we will have to incur. Max and I wrote the following letter to our Congressman (Florida) a while back, so please give us some feedback. I am personally going to email some of you in an attempt to seek out and convince other manufacturers of the importance of this bill. Max and I believe that by untifying, gives this bill the best opportunity to pass. I look forward to hearing from you.
~~Alex
toll free-877-379-4757
[email]email-alex@phillyswirl.com[/email]
September 24, 2003
The Honorable Michael Bilirakis
U.S. House of Representatives
2269 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Congressman Bilirakis:
We are writing you to voice our strong support for the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). Currently, this legislation is pending in the Energy and Commerce Committee and we urge you to support its passage.
We are food manufacturers that produce a frozen snack food that is available nationwide and we are headquartered in your congressional district. It so happens that our product does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, or wheat, but more importantly, we are food allergy aware. We respect the fact that over seven million Americans, the majority of whom are children, could have a fatal allergic reaction if they were to come into contact with a food to which they are allergic (and the prevalence of food allergies continues to increase).
Every time a food-allergic customer bites into one of our products, they literally trust us with their life. Even the most minuscule amount of an ingredient can result in anaphylaxis - a rapid reaction to allergens that may result in brain damage or death. Each year, over 30,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms and another 200 people die from severe allergic reactions to food.
At present, there is no cure for anaphylaxis or food allergies. The only way to keep sufferers safe is to protect them from inadvertent exposure to their allergen by ensuring the food they consume is labeled clearly and accurately. Unfortunately, labels are often written in unfamiliar, scientific jargon and many ingredients get left off altogether. A recent study at Mount Sinai School of Medicine demonstrated that after reading a series of labels only 7% of parents of children with milk allergy were able to correctly identify products that contained milk and 22% of parents of children with soy allergy were able to correctly identify products that contain soy. This is because over thirty different terms refer to milk (i.e., whey, casein) and over fourteen terms refer to soy (i.e., miso or textured vegetable protein).
Furthermore, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act exempts spices, flavorings, and certain colorings and additives from ingredient labeling requirements. In short, improving ingredient labeling is the first line of defense in the prevention of deaths and/or serious illness from allergic reactions to foods.
As a member of the food manufacturing industry, we are willing to do whatever it takes to make buying and consuming everyday foods safe again for food allergic consumers. We invite you to tour our facilities in Tampa (and to discuss this important legislation with us) in November or December. Please do not hesitate to contact us (Alex Plotkin or Max Lapin) at (813) ---.----. We look forward to working with you on this important issue. In advance, we thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Alex Plotkin
Max Lapin
cc: Sarah Owen, Legislative Director
Doug Menorca, Scheduler

Posted on: Fri, 11/21/2003 - 12:05am
momma2boys's picture
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Jim , thank you so much for coming here and posting about your work so far. For anyone looking for it, the web site mentioned is listed in his profile.
I find this whole issue very frustrating and few people willing to work to change it.
Hopefully someday this bill will pass and protect all our children.
If there is anything else we can do please post again and let us know!

Posted on: Fri, 11/21/2003 - 12:08am
momma2boys's picture
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Alex and Max,
I think your letter was wonderful! Have you had any response yet? I want you to know that even though we cant get your product around here I applaud your efforts. If all the manufacturers were as conscientious as you are this thread wouldnt exist.
You show that it is possible to do what so many other companies will not. So for all the people with allergies who can eat Philly Swirl and not worry, THANK YOU!!!

Posted on: Fri, 11/21/2003 - 7:42am
LaurensMom's picture
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Thank you one again Alex!

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 12:44am
Alex Plotkin's picture
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Hello EVERYONE!!!
Yesterday afternoon, the Senate HELP Committee took a major step toward
improving the nation's food labeling laws.
The Committee, led by Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Senator Edward
Kennedy (D-MA), unanimously passed legislation requiring the top 8
allergens -- peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soybeans, shellfish, fish,
and wheat -- to be listed on food labels by their common or usual name,
or by source of the ingredient.
The "Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2003" is now
Title II of S. 741.
Congratulations!!!! This is a HUGE step!!
Alex

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 12:53am
momma2boys's picture
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YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for keeping us updated Alex!

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 2:25am
Yonit's picture
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Was the Bill in its entirety passed or just the component requiring the top 8 allergens? What happens next with this legislation? Thanks for the update.

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 2:51am
synthia's picture
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OMGoodness,YES!!!!
Is there a link or doc. For print?
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 6:47am
momma2boys's picture
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I did find this after a lot of searching. It is dated September of 2002 though???
[url="http://www.idfa.org/news/stories/2002/09/allergenbill.cfm"]http://www.idfa.org/news/stories/2002/09/allergenbill.cfm[/url]
Senate Committee Approves Compromise Allergen Labeling Bill
On September 25, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved a substitute bill on mandatory food allergen labeling that is significantly less onerous to food processors than the original measure (S. 2499), introduced in May by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). Although IDFA feels that the bill is not needed due to current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority and the food industry's voluntary efforts to implement plain language labeling, the substitute bill is a bipartisan compromise that addresses many of the industry's concerns. IDFA is particularly pleased that the substitute bill contains more flexibility on certain provisions, including an implementation date of January 1, 2006, and the complete removal of prescriptive label formatting and civil money penalties. However, the proposal remains a mandatory, not voluntary, labeling bill that would require changes on many food product packages. The measure now moves to the full Senate floor for consideration.
IDFA will continue to work with Congress and seek opportunities to help clarify and refine dairy-related provisions if necessary. The Senate faces a heavy workload before it adjourns in the coming weeks, and it may not get to this measure in this term. There has been no action to date on food allergen labeling in the House of Representatives.
As it is currently written, the substitute measure would:
Require that food product labels declare in plain English all major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans) contained in the product, including flavors, colors, spices and incidental additives. For instance, if a food contains albumin, its label would either contain a parenthetical description of the food source in plain English (e.g. albumen (egg) ) or an allergy information "contains" statement (e.g. Contains: egg).
Require the "plain language" allergen labeling provision to become effective on January 1, 2006; If a product is not labeled properly by that date, the FDA can deem it misbranded, and the food could be subject to recall.
Allow for two labeling exemptions: 1) if the food's name states the known food allergen in plain English such as "Peanut Butter Ice Cream", the label would not have to restate peanuts in the ingredients statement, and/or 2) if the known allergen has appeared previously in the ingredients list. For example, ice cream manufactured using skim milk, cream, whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, peanuts and eggs does not require additional information since all the known allergens (milk, peanuts and eggs) are already identified in plain English. If milk were not a listed ingredient, milk would be required to appear on the label using one of the two options since casein and whey are both derived from milk.
Codify 1996 FDA-issued guidance, which states that if a color, flavoring or spice contains an allergenic ingredient, this must also be disclosed in the ingredient statement using the named food source. For example, a natural walnut flavoring used to complement a butter pecan ice cream flavor must be listed as "walnut flavoring" rather than "other natural flavorings."
Direct FDA to issue final regulations defining "gluten free" as a claim for use on food. Toward that end, the bill would direct the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study gluten threshold levels and other related issues. Within two years after the NAS study is completed, FDA would have to report to Congress about whether additional gluten labeling requirements are needed and what form they should take.
Direct FDA to continue conducting allergen inspections of food manufactures as a high-priority action. FDA would also be required to report back on the ways in which food can become unintentionally contaminated and the common practices used by the food industry to eliminate cross-contamination of major food allergens. Additionally, this report would investigate the effectiveness of advisory labeling practices used by the industry such as "may contain" statements.
Click here to read the substitute bill language. To review the original bill's more onerous proposals, members can click here. For more information, contact Kathleen Nelson at [email]knelson@idfa.org[/email], 202/220-3553.
#

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 6:48am
momma2boys's picture
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I will keep searching, if you know of a link Alex could you please let us know? Thanks so much!

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 1:55am
Alex Plotkin's picture
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I'll forward Senator Gregg's press release. I also expect there may be one from Kennedy's office as well. I will do it ASAP!!!! Have a great afternoon!!!
Alex
[email]email-alex@phillyswirl.com[/email]
toll free- 877-379-4757

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 2:05am
momma2boys's picture
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[url="http://gregg.senate.gov/press/press112103.pdf"]http://gregg.senate.gov/press/press112103.pdf[/url]
Alex , thank you so much, I was able to find this after looking on Sen. Greggs website. I really appreciate your keeping us updated. I think this deserves its own thread.

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 4:03am
e-mom's picture
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EXCELLENT!!!! Thank you for posting this. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 8:53pm
Alex Plotkin's picture
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Good morning Everyone!!
As soon as any other press release becomes available, I will post that link. I am also personally trying to contact two companies, Moonpie ([url]http://www.moonpie.com[/url]) and Kozy Shack ([url]http://www.kozyshack.com[/url]). Their products are absolutely AMAZING and both are "supposed" to be peanut/tree nut free. Has anyone ever tried contacting them in the past?
~~ Alex
[email]email-alex@phillyswirl.com[/email]
toll free-877-379-4757

Posted on: Sat, 11/29/2003 - 3:12pm
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While I am so encouraged about the progress of this legislation, we should [b]not assume that this is a done deal[/b]!
I saw this press release from the National Food Processors Assocation tonight, and it is a strong reminder that the food industry isn't just going to roll over and let this go through without a fight. Even if it does sail through the Senate, we should anticipate that it could find choppy waters in the House.
We should monitor developments closely and be prepared for a major effort to contact members of Congress so our voices are heard, since you can bet the food manufacturers will have their hired lobbyists doing everything in their power to cripple/kill this legislation (as they already have done successfully several times in the last few years).
------------
November 25, 2003
NFPA Finds Allergen Labeling Bill Encouraging While Questioning Key Provisions
(Washington, D.C.)

Posted on: Mon, 12/01/2003 - 5:46am
Nutternomore's picture
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Sen. Gregg's office has released a more comprehensive press release re:legislation that was recently approved through the committee he chairs.
Detailed bill language and the Committee report are still not available, but a few of us are monitoring for its availability.
[url="http://gregg.senate.gov/press/press112103a.pdf"]http://gregg.senate.gov/press/press112103a.pdf[/url]
Here's an extract on FALCPA:
S.741, Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2003 and Food Allergen Labeling
and Consumer Protection Act of 2003
The Minor Use Minor Species Animal Health Act is intended to address the critical shortage of
approved animal drugs for minor species (species other than cattle, horses, swine, chickens, turkeys,
dogs, and cats) and for minor uses in major species (a rare disease in a major species). The bill
establishes two new ways to lawfully market new animal drugs, while ensuring appropriate
safeguards for animal and human health.

Posted on: Mon, 12/01/2003 - 3:33pm
Nutternomore's picture
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I think in Senator Gregg's original press release, there was mention of allowing manufacturers two different labeling options. I found another press release (from IDFA) which spells out what those options are, since the actual bill language hasn't been released yet.
[url="http://www.idfa.org/news/stories/2003/11/allergens.cfm"]http://www.idfa.org/news/stories/2003/11/allergens.cfm[/url]
It states the following: "...The Senate bill would allow two options for labeling the allergenic ingredient:
1) Including the "contains" statement for the allergen, such as "Contains Peanuts," on the food label, OR
2) Adding the "plain English" name of the allergen in parentheses following the name of the actual ingredient in the ingredients statement, such as "casein (milk)"
There is an exclusion clause if the "plain English" allergen name is already included in the ingredient name. For example, food products containing nonfat dry milk would not have to label the ingredient as nonfat dry milk (milk)...."

Posted on: Mon, 12/15/2003 - 8:50am
planetortac's picture
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Joined: 11/15/2003 - 09:00

Hi folks!
Drop your pencils and grab your phones! Call your
representative TODAY and urge them to support H.R. 3684,
the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act,
introduced by Nita Lowey on 12/8/03.
The bill has 14 co-sponsors. URGE your representative
to become a co-sponsor as well!
Take action immediately! The only conclusion I can
draw from the bizarre timing of this introduction is
that they intend to try to pass it BEFORE Christmas
recess, so THERES NOT MUCH TIME!
Call (or write) TODAY!
Visit the web site for information on how to find your
representative's name and contact information. Also,
call you Senators and urge them to support (and co-sponsor)
Title II of bill S.741, the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal
Health Act.
AND THANKS!!!!!
Jim
Andrew, four, is severely allergic to peanuts & egg, RAST
positive for shellfish, treenuts, sesame, banana, maple,
birch. Diagnosed at 4 mos. MA.
--------
For information on legislation related to food allergies, visit my web site at:
[url="http://www.shamrockbay.com/FA/FoodAllergenProtection.shtml"]http://www.shamrockbay.com/FA/FoodAllergenProtection.shtml[/url]

Posted on: Thu, 04/08/2004 - 3:55pm
planetortac's picture
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Joined: 11/15/2003 - 09:00

Its never been more important than now that you write to your representatives and ask them to support H.R.3684.
I have to admit, I missed it until it was called to my attention tonight. I've been watching for the food industry backlash against the FALCPA, and haven't seen as much in previous years.
Well, apparently, just as Ted Kennedy took a novel approach of attaching the FALCPA to an unrelated bill, the food industry has taken a different approach, as well.
There is a strategy for passing legislation based on the model set by the California Emissions legislation. After California passed strict emissions laws, other states started doing the same. Facing a regulatory nightmare of possibly FIFTY different emissions standards, the auto industry quickly compromised on federal emissions legislation.
Since that time, similar attempts have been made to do the same in other regulatory areas, and food allergy legislation is no different. Initiatives are being tried in several states to pass state level food labeling laws, which puts real pressure on the food industry to accept federal legislation like the FALCPA instead of different labeling standards in each state.
However, H.R.2699 is poison pill legislation. It basically prohibits states from enacting their own food labeling legislation. That way, states can't pressure the food industry to accept a federal standard.
H.R.2699 has ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN CO-SPONSORS! If you recall, so far, H.R. 3684 has only THIRTY EIGHT.
It is VERY important to get the word out to EVERYONE you know to support H.R.3684. There is a titanic battle in the Congress going on
over this issue, and we must do everything we can to insure passage of this legislation this year.
If the legislation is not passed before the election, and John Kerry (who has pledged to enact food labeling legislation in his first 100 days) is not elected, we will not see this legislation passed for AT LEAST another four years.
Moreover, another reason for the big push is that food labeling laws for trans-fats go into effect in 2006. If the FALCPA rides the
coattails of that legislation, it will be MUCH more palitable to the food industry to change the labels once, rather than changing them in 2006, and then have to change them again a few years later for yet another change in the law.
The time is now, folks. If we don't get this through soon, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.
Please, contact your representatives today. Then ask 1000 of your closest friends to do the same.
Thanks!
Jim

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