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Rules & Regs: EU proposed mandatory allergen labeling

The European Commission has proposed to amend its food labeling rules to require mandatory labeling of allergens including cereals containing gluten and products based on cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, and products based on crustaceans, egg and egg products, fish and fish products, peanuts and peanut-based products, soya and soya-based products, milk and milk products (including lactose), tree nuts and nut products, sesame seeds and sesame seed products, and sulphite in concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg.

Allergen labeling has not been required in the EU. The commission also proposed to mandate full ingredient labeling, doing away with the “25% rule” under which compound ingredients that constitute less than 25% of a product need not be listed among the ingredients. Ingredient labeling would not be required for compound ingredients “whose composition is defined in community law” and that constitute less than 5% of the finished product and for compound ingredients that are foodstuffs for which a list of ingredients is not required under community legislation. Ingredients that constitute less than 5% of the finished product would no longer be required to be listed in descending order by weight.

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