Demand Better Food Laws to help Prevent Injury or Death in the U​.​S.

Demand Better Food Laws to help Prevent Injury or Death in the U​.​S.

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Marni Deimler started this petition to U.S. House of Representatives and

U.S. food corporations do not have to say on their product labels if their product might be contaminated with any of the top 9 allergens. It is only “optional” to have a “may contain, made on shared lines or made in the same facility” label. This, stated or not, is confusing and unsafe to rely on. Clear and honest labeling can be the difference of life or death for the life of a severely food allergic person. This needs to change! We have a right to transparency!

Millions of people are affected by this. Whether the allergic, or those afflicted with other food related conditions. A clear label would not only help quality of life, but protect their safety and maybe life. These people are put in danger due to them being oblivious to what is actually in the food that they are eating. Medicines and beauty products are even worse, with no laws helping, which is another battle to be addressed. We need the laws to help us!

Personally, as a 14 year old kid, who has life-threatening food allergies to milk, egg, and peanut, this angers and scares me. My doctors just retested my egg allergy, and I experienced “Anaphylaxis” to just the dust of an egg. Every time I try something new, I have to call the company about it, trust who I am speaking with, with my life; to make sure that I can actually have it. Every time I eat, I have the chance of eating something I am allergic to.

Luckily, my parents and I are so proactive, but reactions can still happen and one did. I had a life-threatening reaction to a Magnum “Non-Dairy” ice cream bar. I had eaten them for months, and not only was it my favorite but also one of the few ice creams I can have. Benadryl helped, and thankfully I am fine and did not even have to go to the hospital. Upon calling the company afterwards, the company could not guarantee it was safe for me, with no guarantee that it wasn’t safe, because it was made on a shared lines with a product that had dairy in it! There was no mention of that anywhere on the box, no mention of dairy in the ingredients, and no may contains statement...yet it did contain dairy! Ridiculous!

So, we also found out, that something labeled non-dairy, can have milk in it! Tricky wording. This is only one example of many, regarding undisclosed cross contamination. Companies do not have to mention if their product has cross-contamination with a major allergen. Why aren’t all products including medicine, required to say this!? As we researched more, we found more examples of this confusion, and betrayal. We found that this is a big problem with labeling, and it needs to be fixed and now.

Well, about 2 weeks later, my mother heard of brothers who had reacted the same way to these same bars. It was that moment, me and my mom felt the urgency to solve this problem. We need a new law now. If this law is passed, companies must be clear and truthful in their labels. We need to know exactly what is in these products. This law could save lives and shouldn’t be much to ask and shouldn’t cost anything really.

-Liam D

Our proposed bill: “Liam's Label”: A pack of related food labeling laws we would like to see get passed. (1-2 our most immediate concerns if we have to choose, but hopefully not) This would affect the optional PAL Label Law and further amending or bi-passing the FALCPA Law (Food & Drug& Cosmetic Act) to include Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics as well as food. We are asking for full transparency, but especially would like to see this pass:

Note: This May Contains would accompany the "reinforced ingredients label" where it should be reiterated that compliance with which already is in place, where it is to be stated in "bold type any of the top allergens" and their derivatives should be included. For example: if they use Lactic Acid Starter Culture it should read: Milk (lactic acid starter culture), and terms such as "spices", "natural flavors", "Soybean oil" and Wheat (gluten) should read with a parenthesis of what that includes as well.

#1. A reworked and “mandatory” “May Contains” Label Law for all food, It should be on "every" product whether it "may contains" or " does not".
Current “PAL labeling” (Precautionary Allergen Labeling) comes in the form of an “optional law” for pre-packaged food. We see it in the form of “May contain” or “made on shared equipment with __” or “May contain traces of __”.  We want this law not only to be a “mandatory law”, but also reworked, so it is more clear, and honest and less dangerous. The possibility for cross-contamination with any of the major allergens from shared lines, shared facility or in transit, needs to be displayed. There is way too much confusion, when this is an issue of life or death for millions and an issue of daily health for millions more.

We are proposing this possible solution: "Every" product must have the “same” required format on their label, whether or not their product contains or may contain any of the major allergens. The manufacturer must simply include these 3 statements on their product, in reference to the 9 major allergens, or one statement that states "does not contain". For example, something such as this:
May Contain:
a) If does not contain any cross-contamination with the top allergens:
       1. State: "This product has no cross-contamination with the top allergens".

b) If it may contain any cross-contamination with the top allergens:
      1) List any top allergens that it may contain, followed by parenthesis stating why, such as shared lines, and/or facility.
      2) The statement: We use Strict measures to ensure safety from cross-contamination. Will be followed by a parenthesis, where they put: yes or no)
      3) The statement: Possible cross-contamination in transit. Will be followed by parenthesis, where they put yes or none)

Label Example:
May Contain: Soy (shared Lines). Milk (shared lines). Mustard (shared facility). We use strict measures to ensure safety from cross-contamination: (no). Possible cross-contamination in transit: (none).

#2. All products, including pharmaceutical, beauty products and alcohol, should have the same labeling requirements as food, and the (#1.) New and mandatory Pal label.

#3. A law stating that “Non-Dairy” must be free of all dairy in the ingredients. And any cross-contamination risk to be exposed with the new mandatory PAL Law (see #1)

#4. The top 9 allergens should bump up to top 12, (just as the UK. has) The Faster Act allows FDA to add other food ingredients as major allergens based on scientific criteria that establish a health concern. Consider adding: Corn, Mustard, Celery, Gluten (which includes wheat, barely, rye, oats, and malt) and Chemicals (sulfites, sulfer dioxide, nitrates, caffeine, MSG, aspartame (Nutrasweet), artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, etc.) We are asking for new additions to the top 9 to be considered, but there should really be full transparency regarding all ingredients. This includes that their derivatives should be clearly & honestly stated. ( for example, the soy allergic are needing the terms to be more defined, and that of Gluten and terms such as Natural Flavors, spices too should fully specific). 

These issues need to be fixed.  No one should have to call every time they try a new food. There are many allergies, and no one should have to wonder or worry if their allergen is in a product. My son can die from just a dusting of any of his three allergens. If even just a dust may be in the product, it needs to be stated. There should be no hiding ingredients or cross-contamination possibilities.

Companies should realize that this can be a good thing. With the changing world, more diets, more health concerns and more allergies, labeling needs to accommodate. When we are not sure if a product contains our ingredient we don't buy it, but what if we could be sure. Maybe we are avoiding way more than we need to be. These laws would actually help to make more informed decisions and that could be a good thing for the companies too. People won't have to avoid more products than they think they do. They will become loyal to these companies that are honest with us.

Thank you! -Marni & Liam Deimler

 

 

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