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Food allergen labeling helps food-allergic consumers and their caregivers identify and avoid foods that contain major food allergens. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004 is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act -- it requires the label of a food that is a "major food allergen," or contains an ingredient that contains protein from a major food allergen, to declare the presence of the allergen in the manner described by the law.

Food Allergen Labeling: Questions and Answers

Below are the answers to questions consumers might have about the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004.
 
What Is the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004?
FALCPA is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It requires labeling of a food that is a "major food allergen," or contains an ingredient that contains protein from a major food allergen. Any food meeting either of these descriptions must declare the presence of the allergen in the manner described by the law.
 
Why Did Congress Pass the Food Allergen Labeling Act?
Congress passed this act to make it easier for food-allergic consumers and their caregivers to identify and avoid foods that contain major food allergens. In fact, in a 1999 review, the FDA found that 25 percent of sampled foods failed to list peanuts or eggs as ingredients on the food labels, although the foods contained these allergens. This review pertained to the foods of randomly selected manufacturers of baked goods, ice cream, and candy in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  
When Did FALCPA Become Effective?
FALCPA applies to food products that are labeled on or after January 1, 2006.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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