Manufacturer of Natural Products That Empower People to Live Healthier Lives
Nutrition for Optimal Wellness
Food Allergen Labeling

NOW Foods pays attention to the presence and absence of major allergens and other ingredients of concern in our products. Known allergens added to products are clearly marked on the label. In addition to the eight FDA-defined “major food allergens”, some ingredients are called out on the label if containing certain other ingredients that may be of concern to some people. NOW Foods employs strict product and ingredient separation and cleaning procedures between production runs. However, products can be made on multi-product lines, so there always exists the remote possibility of contamination by other allergens. NOW Foods does not process any peanuts at its facility.

Food allergens are an important health consideration for many people. In the past, it was up to each manufacturer to label with the presence of food allergens that were in the product. Labels often provided little or no help in people’s quest to avoid food allergens. Today the situation is different since the passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). The law identifies and requires labeling of the eight most common allergenic foods, which account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions: Egg, Fish, Milk, Peanuts, Crustacean Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts, and Wheat.

These eight foods, and any ingredient that contains protein derived from one or more of them, are designated by FALCPA as “major food allergens”. Our food labels (including dietary supplement labels) clearly identify the food source names of all ingredients that are — or contain any protein derived from —the eight major food allergens.

People found to have a food allergy should read labels and avoid the offending foods. They should also, in case of accidental ingestion, recognize the early symptoms of an allergic reaction, and be properly educated on — and armed with — appropriate treatment measures. Anyone with a known food allergy who begins experiencing symptoms while, or after, eating a food should initiate treatment immediately, and go to a nearby emergency room if symptoms progress.

Derivatives of these eight major allergen foods must be declared on product labels only if they contain protein. While it is possible to have other types of sensitivities/reactions to various foods and food components, even immunological reactions, food allergies are rigidly defined as specific types of reactions to the proteins in foods.

For highly refined food derivatives, such as vitamin E derived from soybean oil and purified to a pharmaceutical grade of purity, allergen disclosure is not necessary if proteins are not present. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that, “Under FALCPA, raw agricultural commodities (generally fresh fruits and vegetables) are exempt as are highly refined oils derived from one of the eight major food allergens and any ingredient derived from such highly refined oil.”

This labeling requirement applies to all other food products. Dietary supplements are defined by U.S. law as a specially regulated food category, so these rules apply to supplement labels.

Some people may still be allergic to — and have serious reactions to — foods other than the eight foods identified by the law. It may be more difficult to identify allergens that are not one of the eight major ones, since their presence is not required to be disclosed on product labels. While it is important to read each label's ingredient list carefully to avoid all food allergens of concern, it may also be necessary to contact the manufacturer for more information if you are concerned about an allergen that is not on the FALCPA list and therefore not required to be disclosed on the label. Please contact us if you have questions about an allergen in our products. Corn and corn derivatives, yeast, and gluten are some of the other consumer concerns and questions.

This information was primarily sourced from public information. For more detailed information on food allergen labeling published by the U.S. government, please click on these links:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAllergens/default.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm106890.htm