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BFR on allergens

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:42 AM

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) was asked by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) to present the current level of scientific findings on allergies caused by consumer products and foods by way of preparation for the National Action Plan on Allergies.


An ancient Chinese proverb teaches that the person who waits for a roast duck to fly into their mouth must wait a very long time.


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:27 PM

Dear Franco,

Many thanks for this. Very impressive.
I found the opening pages hard going as a non-specialist but the remainder is fascinating and often disturbing. Three of the items I noticed which surprised me were -

(1) “The report comes to the conclusion that the data sufficiently prove a causal relationship between parental smoking and asthma in children.”

(2) “There are currently no limit values in Germany or the EU for mandatory listing of allergenic components on the label. Allergens which unintentionally reach the food need not be labelled either. The causes of unintentional contamination with allergenic (otherwise mandatory labelled) components (cross contamination) are mainly the (unwitting) use of contaminated ingredients and the carry-over of contaminated ingredients into the production process as a consequence of inadequate rinsing or inadequately separated production sections. Hence for reasons of product liability some manufacturers use the wording “May contain traces of XYZ (XYZ = allergens, e.g. hazelnuts)” in the labelling of their products.
When the wording “May … contain” is merely used for prophylactic reasons because suitable measures to reduce or even prevent cross-contamination would make production more expensive, this is not really in the interest of consumer protection as growing use of this wording further reduces the choices available to allergy sufferers. At all events, it is recommended that manufacturers quantitatively determine the degree of contamination and take technical steps to prevent it.”
I wonder if any other countries (US?) vary from this statement. The second paragraph is hitting the mark but may be difficult to implement ? (detection levels etc).

(3) “Celery is one of the main allergens.”
Football players (and authorities) should take note.

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,



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