Food label policy changes
TMS has become aware that over the weekend, the FDA has quietly announced changes in how food labels are going to be listing ingredients. These changes will include LOOSENING guidelines on naming ingredients in a given food. This potentially puts patients with mast cell disease and food allergies at risk of anaphylaxis and a poor or fatal outcome, as well as any other person at risk of food allergy induced anaphylaxis. I have asked our Advocacy Committee Chair, Barbara Ruby, to contact Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), as well as all of the members of the AAAAI Lay Organizations who we work closely with, to come up with a united plan of action against this dangerous and unnecessary legislation. All of TMS will be working with Barbara against legislation which affects our population. Recently, we signed on in support of more stringent labeling of foods, including not listing (spices), but mandating that each spice or flavoring be named. This new legislation passed this weekend is a huge step backwards, and we cannot allow it to remain.
All of TMS will join in efforts against this change. Thank you. Valerie M. Slee, TMS Chair, Board of Directors and Commit
5/29/20 Joint Letter to the FDA Regarding Temporary Labeling Guidelines Due to COVID-19
In response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement last week, we joined 11 other organizations to issue a joint letter to the agency about its interim food labeling guidelines in response to supply chain issues and shortages brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Read the letter here: https://www.aafa.org/media/2695/aafa-letter-concerning-fda-relaxing-food-labeling-requirements.pdf
To protect people with uncommon allergies, we are asking the FDA to require food companies to publicly disclose *any* food substitutions they make in their products by announcing it on their websites and social media. (Under the new guidance from the FDA, the top 8 major allergens and 5 other priority allergens should not be substituted.)
We hope including priority allergens, such as sesame, not listed under the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) in this temporary guidance signals a move toward officially adding them to the list of ingredients that must be disclosed on food labels.