Commenting on a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on food industry practices related to allergens in food products, Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Executive Vice President of the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following statement:

“The food industry takes the issue of food allergens very seriously. We have taken the lead in developing manufacturing practices to help avoid the inclusion of any unlabeled allergens in food products. This report will be useful in helping industry to further enhance its efforts to ensure that all potential food allergens are clearly labeled on food packages, and that no inadvertent allergens are contained in food products.

“While only a very small percentage of consumers suffer from serious food allergies, the food industry is committed to ensuring that label statements on products accurately reflect the ingredients in those products. Existing regulations clearly require that all ingredients are listed on food labels, in order to protect those consumers with food allergies.

“NFPA is working with FDA, as well as with consumer groups such as the Food Allergy Network, to ensure that industry practices to avoid the inclusion of inadvertent allergens in food products are truly effective. Our industry also works closely with government and consumer groups on education efforts to provide consumers with the information they need on the important issue of food allergies.”

NFPA is the voice of the $460 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.

For more information on this issue, contact Timothy Willard, NFPA’s Vice President of Communications, at 202-637-8060, or visit NFPA’s Website at http://www.nfpa-food.org.