The number of people in the United States with food allergies keeps growing, and most of them are young children. Right now almost 8 percent of American children - almost 6 million kids - have a food allergy. There is no cure, and the only way to avoid a potentially fatal reaction is complete avoidance of your allergens.Even a microscopic amount of peanut protein can trigger anaphylaxis in a child with a severe peanut allergy.
Currently the food allergy labeling law (Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Title II of Public Law 108-282)) requires manufacturers to label the top 8 most common food allergens - with some major exceptions. Manufacturers are not required to disclose soybean oil or soy lecithin, and only crustacean shellfish have to be disclosed (not mollusks).
The top 8 allergens may account for as little as 50 percent of all food allergies. For the other half of the population - people allergic to corn, mustard, apples, celery, or whatever other food triggers their symptoms - the food allergy labeling law does nothing. Manufacturers still list ingredients such as "spices" on their labels with no indication of which spices. They can claim a product is "soy free" on its packaging even if it contains soy lecithin.
Car manufacturers are required to know the source of every part they use to make a car. We should require the same level of record keeping from the folks who make the food we put in our mouths, and our children's mouths.
Require food manufacturers to list EVERY INGREDIENT of EVERY FOOD on labels - in plain English. We have a right to know what is in the food we are eating!