Monday, May 30, 2016

The industry wants an extension to include food allergens on labels

Just over a month the deadline requiring industry to report the presence of allergy-causing foods labels manufacturers move to ask for more time in order to suit the new requirement. The norm of Anvisa (national health surveillance Agency), which deals with that requirement was passed in June last year, will enter into force on the day on July 3.
According to Anvisa, improper labelling of food represents health violation. Those who do not meet the standard of the allergens when she enters into force will be subject to warning, ban or fine. The fine may vary between 2 1000 R$ and 1.5 million R$. According to the resolution, all food and beverage containers will display the warning "allergenic: contains ..." in capital letters and in bold immediately after the list of ingredients, next to the already known "contains gluten.
Milk, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, soy, different types of nuts and natural latex (contamination may be through gloves, for example) are the major allergens that must be informed on the labels. It is estimated that 8% of children under three years and 4% of adults suffer from food allergies.
The industry, however, argues that the period of a year was not enough to get the information to all members of the production chain. Several associations met with Anvisa recently and asked for an extension of six months to a year.
"Companies are supporting consumer demands and are running behind, but are still adjusting. The great difficulty is to obtain information from suppliers of raw materials, especially from other countries. Many were not the data and who gives the final product, "says Tatiana Pires, President of Abiad (Brazilian Association of Brazilian Industry Association of dietary foods). The entity requested the extension along with 17 other associations and trade unions.
Mothers press label change the Abia (Brazilian Association of the industry of food) also cited difficulties with suppliers. "If they only inform about the allergenic components on the last day of the period, the industry won''t be able to change the label in a timely fashion," said in a statement. "Still, most of the companies associated with Abia is already in compliance with the norm".
The Association estimates that 65% of companies are already in compliance with the resolution. In fact, it is possible to find in markets several products with the new requirement-some even with a sticker over the old label, updating the information.
To representatives of the movement Put on the label, which brings together hundreds of mothers of children allergic and spearheaded the campaign calling for change in the packaging, the existence of products already meet the requirement shows that it is possible to make the change within.
Anvisa stated that has received requests from different segments of society regarding the extension of deadline, but still evaluates these requests.
Folha de S. Paulo News Item translated automatically
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