Food Allergy Sufferers Wary of Lax Label Rules

June 8, 2020
Some advocates for allergy sufferers are becoming worried over the FDA’s decision to suspend enforcement of certain ingredient labeling rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some advocates for allergy sufferers are becoming worried over the FDA’s decision to suspend enforcement of certain ingredient labeling rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

The FDA announced May 22 that it would be providing temporary flexibility on labeling regulations when ingredients have to be omitted or substituted due to interruptions in the supply chain. The agency’s guidelines state that substitutions cannot include food allergens, but some allergy advocates told the Detroit Free Press that they’re still worried.

“The FDA guidance issued on May 22 temporarily changes labeling requirements for food manufacturers, leaving the food allergy community concerned that they could no longer trust the labels of the food products they buy,” Lisa Gable, CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education, told the paper.

The advocates are concerned especially that oils refined from allergens, like peanut or soy oil, could be substituted for non-allergenic oils like canola. They called on the FDA and the food industry to signal such changes through stickers attached to the packaging.

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