Consumer group commends congressional call for new FDA regulations on preventing undeclared food allergens

Food Allergens

WASHINGTON - Michael F. Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), today commended the adoption by the House Committee on Appropriations of an amendment encouraging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “promulgate regulations to prevent cross-contamination of foods by undeclared allergens.” The Committee adopted the amendment, offered by Representative Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), during its consideration on June 13 of the FY 2002 appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

     “The Committee’s decision shows there is bipartisan concern over the FDA’s failure to take any action on a petition filed thirteen months ago by the Attorneys General of nine states asking the FDA to issue new regulations. Undeclared food allergens are too serious a public health matter for consumers to rely merely on voluntary industry guidelines,” said Jacobson.

     Lowey’s amendment also requires the FDA to report to the Committee by December 31, 2001 on its plans for preventing cross-contamination of foods by undeclared allergens.