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Author Topic: FDA Announces Temporary Flexibility Policy Regarding Labeling Requirements  (Read 118 times)

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Offline bleh

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I saw this today due to a washington post article. We now have to question if the ingredients listed on the label are actually the ingredients being used? It seems crazy. The following passage from the FDA site stuck out:

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Substitution of certain oils may temporarily be appropriate without a label change, such as canola oil for sunflower oil, because they contain similar types of fats.



https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-announces-temporary-flexibility-policy-regarding-certain-labeling-requirements-foods-humans/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/27/fda-rolls-back-food-rules-5th-time-during-pandemic/

https://snacksafely.com/2020/05/the-fda-has-relaxed-labeling-requirements-under-covid-19-what-it-means-for-the-food-allergy-community/
DD: PA/TNA/EA (baked eggs are okay)

Offline spacecanada

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Yes, and peanut oil and soy oil aren't considered part of the top-8 allergens, so they could be substituted in without warning.  However, blatant addition of top-8 allergens must be identified on the label, even under these new rules.

What concerns me most are people with allergens outside the top-8 that don't have to be declared in the first place, and so calling companies is the only way to verify ingredients, but all that research is now lost and they have to call each and every company again to verify each and every time, with lot numbers.  Many companies trusted by allergy families, like 88 Acres and Enjoy Life, are publicly declaring their labels will always be clear and always accurate, with no substitutions, despite FDA rules.

Then, how long will these substitutions be in place for, and how long will they sit in warehouses before they reach store shelves.  Will this be revised again after the pandemic.  Many, many questions.  It's a good reason to sick to basic whole foods and make everything from scratch, which is typically healthier anyway. 

It's definitely concerning.
I don't know what I'm allergic to anymore... the list keeps growing.

Offline Janelle205

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I am really, really unhappy with this, especially as someone with allergies that aren't top-8 and is about to go live somewhere relatively far from a hospital and served by volunteer EMS.  (I'm not knocking volunteer EMS - my experience with this group is that they are very qualified, but they don't have an immediate dedicated response team.)

Since my most severe allergies are to fruits, DH and I have decided that we won't buy anything with any type of fruit juice/concentrate/puree. 

This is going to suck.  My allergies don't seem to have the "temporary flexibility" that food manufacturers are getting.

Offline spacecanada

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And as someone with potato and tapioca allergies, among others, substituting one of those for cornstarch could be deadly.  The list of reasons this is bad is far too long to list.

I am grateful Canada hasnít done anything like this, but I have been cautioned by my doctor and allergist that products here could be made on different lines or shared lines with products they may not have been shared with previously, which could increase allergen risks.  (That was when I had unexplained hives, which were later explained, but it still applies.) It is a concern everywhere right now.
I don't know what I'm allergic to anymore... the list keeps growing.

Offline SilverLining

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I had reached out to CFIA asking about importing and basically got a canned response about how they are ensuring food made or imported into Canada meets essential food safety requirements, including for labelling.

I then sent this link, saying it doesnít sound like they are. So far they have not responded.

https://www.inspection.gc.ca/covid-19/cfia-information-for-industry/foodservice-products-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/eng/1587075946413/1587075946772?fbclid=IwAR3GBJYiSVcMgoeICU_AeWZWWOcRVNqUaLyBgd9TKO5B945oMuAnUiaoeww

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has temporarily suspended some of its low-risk activities.

Low-risk CFIA activities are those that do not immediately impact the production of safe food for Canadians.

Effective immediately, the CFIA is providing flexibility for certain labelling requirements for foodservice packaged products that have no impact on food safety, as detailed below.

Foodservice products are those used by hotels, restaurants and institutions.

This will help to support the economy, alleviate supply disruptions in Canadian grocery stores, and avoid food waste.

I donít eat in restaurants even without a pandemic. But for those that do, they need to know this.
OJ was acquitted too!

Offline spacecanada

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Oh, for goodness sake... And they didn't make it publicly known, either.  Thanks for posting, that SL.  I'm going to share the link with all the allergy groups here.   :banghead:

I pretty much never eat in restaurants (except Disney and two other places), and stick to whole ingredients, but still. 
I don't know what I'm allergic to anymore... the list keeps growing.

Offline spacecanada

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Upon further reading of the CFIA article, it doesnít sound like ingredient changes are part of it. They are now permitting Canadian made items with US labels to be on products for sale in Canada. All top allergens must still be declared. This is purely a labelling issue, not an ingredient issue by the sounds of it.
I don't know what I'm allergic to anymore... the list keeps growing.