Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FDA Definition Of Food Allergies

Is There A FDA Definition Of Food Allergies

The FDA or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the regulatory body which looks after the safety of food and drugs sold in USA – just as the name indicates. Usually the FDA plays a very important role in the monitoring of the drugs and alternative medicines that are launched in the market. They also give approval for all foods products according to their purity and safety for human consumption.

What About FDA Definition Of Food Allergies?

If you are looking for a FDA definition of food allergies, there is none yet. However, you have the order of the FDA dated January 1, 2006 stating that all the food products that contain any type of allergenic elements should be clearly mentioned on the label. This order is reinforcing an older Act, i.e. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act which was passed in the year 2004 which dictates that names of such foods or elements that could create allergic reactions – such as soy beans, crab, shrimp, any type shell fish, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, and so on be mentioned under a separate head, "contains".

There might not be an FDA definition of food allergies but the existing laws are quite effective in alerting people who suffer from any type of food allergies to understand the risk of consuming what they are planning to buy. The labels of these food products do not only mention the contents but also the source of the allergen. In this way, even if the person does not recognize the food or element in isolation, they would recognize it from the source.

For example, let us say you are allergic to whey or casein and these ingredients are mentioned on the label but pass your scrutiny. However, when the label would say 'contains dairy' as warranted by the law, you would definitely take notice of it and avoid this product and the time you would have had to fight the allergy.

The danger of developing food allergy is about 2% in adults and about 6% in children in USA and the numbers are increasing, not decreasing. Therefore, the new rule of FDA is helping a lot in preventing more casualties from allergies caused by food. Even if a FDA definition of food allergies is not there, this institution is doing a great job in blocking all the possibilities for this to happen.

The application and enactment of the recent laws by FDA work better than if there was a simple FDA definition of food allergies. In this case it is more important to have laws that protect than spread awareness regarding the dangers of allergies triggered by food.

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