Eat, Learn, Live (ELL) Manages Critical Mislabeling Information That Guides Consumers Away from Potentially "Unsafe" Food Purchases
Eat, Learn, Live (ELL), is a not-for-profit foundation that supports the rights of severely allergic children to eat safe manufactured foods. It manages a free service in which it solicits, maintains and disseminates mislabeled allergen ingredient reports to US consumers to Influence purchase decisions, instead of waiting for the small percentage of voluntary manufacturer recalls.
Eat, Learn, Live (ELL) a not-for-profit foundation that supports the right’s of severely allergenic children to greater safety in the foods they consume and in the environments in which they learn, recently launched its Manufacturer Database of Mislabeling Incidents. Consumers are now actively signing onto the ELL website (www.ellfoundation.org) to submit reports of those manufacturers failing to accurately adhere to the food labeling requirements as defined by the FALCPA (Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act) of 2004.
Specifically, this law requires manufacturers to identify in plain language the presence of any of the 8 major food allergens. It also requires food labels to indicate the presence of potential allergens used in spices, flavorings, additives and colorings, previously exempt from allergen labeling, which put people at risk for hidden ingredients. There are several shortfalls of this law including no minimum level of allergen required for labeling and the law remains silent on issues of “may contain” and similar advisory statements.
The greatest deficiency, however, of the 2004 Act is the lack of repercussions and/or penalties for those manufacturers not adhering to the law’s specifications. As a result, manufacturers are not monitored for accuracy of labeling and no procedures or actions are dictated to respond to labeling inaccuracies. Instead, any recall of product is a voluntary response infrequently executed by manufacturers who receive mislabeling complaints.
In the past, consumers were forced to evaluate and trial products based on the ingredients as listed without any additional feedback on its accuracy in processing and/or labeling. Now, for the first time, consumers will be equipped with specific information that may further influence safer purchasing and consumption of foods when threatened by the inclusion of allergenic ingredients.
Other organizations such as the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) continue to provide a valuable service in releasing recall alerts to consumers to better inform them once a manufacturer announces a recall. This service continues to play a critical role in better ensuring the safety of allergenic individuals.
However, a gap was recognized by ELL in the lack of available information that reflects those manufacturers misrepresenting ingredients in their products prior to a recall, or more importantly, among those electing to simply ignore their mislabeling practices. Unfortunately, the norm is the latter. This lack of adherence to the FALCPA is resulting in serious risks to consumer health for millions who have restricted dietary requirements as a result of food allergies or other health concerns.
The Eat, Learn, Live (ELL) Manufacturer Database of Mislabeling Reports will provide real-time guidance to consumers. For those manufacturers who opt to not clear its products off of store shelves following a mislabeling incident (and likely allergic reaction) the ELL database will act as a communication vehicle to disseminate this critical information. The ELL management team will also notify both the respective manufacturer of the mislabeled report and federal and local lawmakers who may have influence in addressing the necessary inadequacies.
“In order for the ELL Manufacturer Database of Mislabeling Incidents to be of the greatest value to consumers, it is important to encourage consumers to share their mislabeling experiences by submitting a report through the ELL website” (www.ellfoundation.org)., says Kathleen Silverman, Founder/CEO of Eat, Learn, Live (ELL). “We need the information built into the database to be complete and to represent the extensive flaws of the industry. This is a free, unsurpassed service that has the great potential of influencing consumer purchasing, manufacturer practices, more concise national policy and increase safety in food consumption”, Silverman explains.
ELL will hold all names and contact information of individuals submitting reports strictly confidential and it will not be shared with manufacturers or lawmakers.
For more information visit the Eat, Learn, Live (ELL) website at www.ellfoundation.org or contact the organization directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Kathleen Silverman
Cell Phone: 1-630-677-5309