What exactly does the new U.S. labeling law require?

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:44am
marina_twinmom's picture
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One of the other moms of a PA boy at my son's school believes that the new law requires manufacturers to list "may contain" warnings if a food is made on a shared line.

I'm not so sure.

Philly cream cheese (in the tub) doesn't have a warning, but the last time I called, I was told it was made on a shared line with the honey nut cream cheese. Unless they've changed their manufacturing processes, they're not labeling for may contains.

I have also been told by companies that certain products (such as Jell-O pudding mix) don't require a warning because the lines are sanitized between uses. For example, they won't label a Jell-O pudding mix that's made on a shared line with the pistachio pudding mix, because they clean the line in between and think there's no risk of cross-contamination.

Unfortunately, the other mom and the teacher seem to be convinced that anything without a printed warning is now safe. The teacher brought in bagels, cream cheese, and hot cocoa today for class, and I'm the only one nervous about that.

Does anyone know if the new law REQUIRES labeling for products made on shared lines?

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:47am
marina_twinmom's picture
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P.S. I said no to the cream cheese and bagels, and yes (reluctantly) to the hot cocoa.

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:52am
marina_twinmom's picture
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I just did some more reading online and found the answer to my question. According to this link, the new law DOES NOT require a "may contain" warning for foods made on shared lines.
[url="http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html#q1"]http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html#q1[/url]
So now I have to convince DS's teacher that she still can't tell if something's safe just by reading the label.

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 7:58am
synthia's picture
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[url="http://www.foodconsumer.org/777/8/Allergen_Labeling_Takes_Effect.shtml"]http://www.foodconsumer.org/777/8/Allergen_Labeling_Takes_Effect.shtml[/url]
------------------
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 8:13am
Joanne's picture
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Remember, too, that there are products on the shelves with the "old" labeling. The law does not require that old products be pulled from the shelves.

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:34am
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I read the following in the foodconsumer.org article:
Taylor also contends that the act is too strict in requiring that allergens be listed if they are present in the faintest traces. For example, he says, the law requires the listing of not only ingredients but also processing aids that may include allergens, such as soybean lecithin, which is used by baking companies as a stick-release agent for pans.
"My view is that in this particular application the exposure to soybean allergens is extremely low, but with the new labeling requirements you're going to be advising all soy-allergic individuals not to eat the vast majority of bakery products," Taylor says. "And I don't think that's particularly in their best interests."
Stephen L. Taylor, who heads the Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The reason this comment upsets me is that Mr. Taylor seems to be saying that we should all take a turn playing the FA version of Russian Roulette with our children's lives at stake. Why is Mr. Taylor urging us to take this risk? I can only guess that the Food Industry is so greedy (shocking yes, but consider how much they ask for breakfast cereals)that they want us to spend our money to buy food we cannot even safely feed our kids. And my definition of "safely" is quite broad - I even feed foods that contain trans-fats, butter, salt, sugar, white flour, and (horror of horrors) nitrates.
Had to let off a little steam about this blatant display of greed and sociopathy.
[This message has been edited by Edinview (edited January 06, 2006).]
[This message has been edited by Edinview (edited January 06, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:54am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

My dd's first preschool teacher went through he## to figure out what gave her dd bloody stools(and many hospitalizations and tests. She was a very sickly child with what sounds like a very "leaky gut" sydrome. Turns out it was soy lecithin that was one of the major culprits.
Wonder what she would have to say to Mr. Taylor? Traces did make her very sick.
I mean, is it really so friggin complex to simple list everything, every little thing, that goes into a food(and into our bodies. Allergies aside, I want to know! becca becca

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:47am
marina_twinmom's picture
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Joined: 09/06/2001 - 09:00

P.S. I said no to the cream cheese and bagels, and yes (reluctantly) to the hot cocoa.

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:52am
marina_twinmom's picture
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Joined: 09/06/2001 - 09:00

I just did some more reading online and found the answer to my question. According to this link, the new law DOES NOT require a "may contain" warning for foods made on shared lines.
[url="http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html#q1"]http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html#q1[/url]
So now I have to convince DS's teacher that she still can't tell if something's safe just by reading the label.

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 7:58am
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

[url="http://www.foodconsumer.org/777/8/Allergen_Labeling_Takes_Effect.shtml"]http://www.foodconsumer.org/777/8/Allergen_Labeling_Takes_Effect.shtml[/url]
------------------
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 8:13am
Joanne's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Remember, too, that there are products on the shelves with the "old" labeling. The law does not require that old products be pulled from the shelves.

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