Sulfites labeled under 10 parts per million on food
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Sulfur and Sulfites are often added to food products to prevent browning and medications to extend shelf life. These include: sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite and caramel color.
As of 2017, products only need to be labeled if they contain 10ppm, which most research shows is the threshold that most people will start presenting symptoms of an allergy. However, someone could unknowingly consume over 10ppm by consuming multiple foods containing less than 10ppm in one day. This adds up to enough of the allergen building up in their system to produce a reaction.
For example, shellfish are often sprayed with a sulphur dioxide solution on the boat after being caught. This acts a a preservative as fish start to deteriorate very quickly and turn brown. Manufacturers who then use fish in their products may unwittingly tell consumers their products do not contain sulfur/sulfites when they do. Other foods that are often unlabeled that contain sulfites: Frozen french fries, dried potato products, bottled lemon juice and concentrates, granola bars, fresh grapes, and even tea. Tartrazine, also known as Yellow Dye #5, contains two sulfite groups. Did I mention Yellow #5 is in Doritos, Swedish Fish and lemon Jello, all common snacks we give our children on a daily basis?
I am calling for all food and drug products to be labeled as: Contains Sulfites if any amount is added in a product. This will give consumers the right to protect our health and well being by being able to make an informed decision. This will also help individuals figure out if they have a sulfur/sulfite intolerance or allergy. We all know the best way to avoid having an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen in the first place. The problem is that we can't avoid an allergen if we aren't aware it is in our food in the first place.
Each year, families spend $4.3 billion on direct medical costs such as trips to the ER as a result of food allergies. The FDA estimated that at least 1 in 100 individuals are "sensitive" to sulfites, which leaves over 3.1 million people in the US today at risk of having an allergic reaction due to poor labeling laws.
Please sign my petition demanding that the Food and Drug Administration be transparent by labeling sulfites so we can protect ourselves and our children.
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