US: Research slams food labels on allergies
Food label warnings on products in the US are confusing and ineffective, according to an industry researcher in the country.
Of some 179 products bearing a variety of accidental-peanut warnings, University of Nebraska food scientist Steve Taylor found 7% contained enough peanuts to seriously harm allergic people.
US law requires full disclosure on foods intentionally containing highly allergenic ingredients, but accidental-allergy warnings are voluntary and wording varies.
A report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows more parents of food-allergic children avoid products labelled "may contain peanuts" (88%) than "packaged in a facility that processes peanuts" (64%).
Additionally, the number of people avoiding foods with accidental-allergy warnings is down 12% from 2003, owing to growing numbers of vague warning labels on foods with little allergy risk.
The US Food and Drug Administration will hold consultations this year to determine if mandatory measures are necessary. An estimated 12m Americans have some degree of food allergy.
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The International Formula Council (IFC) has dismissed safety fears surrounding liquid infant formula amid claims in the US that the food is sold in cans lined with a potentially harmful chemical....
US food giant ConAgra Foods has pledged that it will look to remove more salt from its products amid growing consumer concern about the level of salt found in processed foods....
Tyson Foods has stood by its "Raised Without Antibiotics" chicken programme despite the US government censuring the company over its labelling....
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