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Delays in allergen labeling bill

After failing to act before the summer break, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions may take action on legislation mandating new requirements on labeling of food products with known allergens among their ingredients.

Foods containing milk, egg, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, and gluten would be subject to new labeling guidelines. The bill gives FDA authority to require, if it chooses, labeling for some 150-160 other foods known to cause allergic reactions in some people.

A “may contain” phrase no longer could be used in product labeling, and labels must bear a toll-free number for consumers to call for allergen information.

The NFPA opposes the legislation, strongly preferring a voluntary industry Code of Practice developed by the Food Allergy Issues Alliance.

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