Make listing all ingredients in a product mandatory
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Who do you know with an allergy?
Is it a friend or family member? If not, you must have at least heard about what deadly allergies can do to people. Anaphylactic shock is a type of severe allergic reaction. Common allergies are to animals, bug bites, foods, and chemicals in drugs. People with allergies that are serious, and even life threatening, have to constantly be on alert. Common allergies, like nuts and shellfish, are listed on menus and on packaging for foods that contain these items.
But what about less common allergens? I, for one, am allergic to cinnamon. Throughout my experience, I've been questioned about whether or not it's a legitimate allergy. It's less common than being allergic to a bee sting, that's for sure.
Avoiding my allergen isn't as easy as one would think, mostly because it's unlisted in the ingredient list of many foods. The phrases "mixed herbs and spices" and "natural and artificial flavors" are the bane of my existence, because for me, it's a gamble. Either I take the chance that there isn't cinnamon, and I get lucky, or I end up panicking as my throat swells.
When I go to get a coffee at Wawa, Starbucks, or some other restaurant, and I ask if there's a specific ingredient, the employee should be able to easily locate the ingredient list and tell me whether or not the allergen is present.
Large companies can get away with listing the common allergies, and main ingredients. But for people with lesser known allergies, and who have severe reactions, unnamed ingredients could mean a visit to the emergency room.
What I want is for every ingredient in food, drugs, and bodily care products like soaps, shampoos, and bath bombs, to be listed. Labels like "mixed herbs and spices" and "natural and artificial flavors" are doing nothing to help, and are incredibly vague. I believe all ingredients should be listed, no matter how small. For some people, this is a matter of life and death.
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