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H.Res. 30 (ath) Designating minority membership on certain standing committees of the House. [Agreed to House] ...

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  1st Session
H. RES. 309

    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding 
strategies to better protect millions of Americans with food allergies 
 from potentially fatal allergic reactions, and to further assure the 
  safety of manufactured food from inadvertent allergen contamination.



                           September 28, 1999

Mrs. Morella submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
                       the Committee on Commerce



    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding 
strategies to better protect millions of Americans with food allergies 
 from potentially fatal allergic reactions, and to further assure the 
  safety of manufactured food from inadvertent allergen contamination.

Whereas up to 5.2 million Americans have potentially lethal food allergies, and 
        the incidence is increasing yearly;
Whereas an estimated 125 deaths per year result from fatal allergic reactions to 
        food in the United States;
Whereas the majority of those affected by food allergies are children, but the 
        most serious allergies--peanuts, shellfish, fish, and tree nuts--are 
Whereas eight major allergens--peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, 
        soy, and wheat--comprise 90 percent of allergic reactions;
Whereas at present no vaccine or allergy injection treatment exists for serious 
        food allergies--only a lifetime of absolute avoidance of the allergen 
        prevents potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction;
Whereas the expectation of a safe food supply for all is an American right;
Whereas the prevalence and seriousness of food allergies is well-known and 
        documented to the food manufacturing and processing industry;
Whereas potentially fatal allergen ingredients may actually be introduced into 
        the manufacturing process by the practice of ``sharing'' production 
        lines with allergen and nonallergen containing products, a practice 
        typically unknown to the consumer, and that this dangerous practice is 
Whereas the current practice of labeling foods for potential allergens is 
        helpful, but not a substitute for preventing the contamination of the 
        product in the first place, and is of no benefit to a child or adult 
        consuming a contaminated product which is not in its factory wrapper, or 
        while in a restaurant or another home; and
Whereas previous threats to the public safety and confidence as a result of 
        product tampering and poisonings have already set a precedent for 
        undertaking improvements in manufacturing processes to better protect 
        the American public from similarly grave and preventable risk, and at 
        acceptable cost: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives 
            (1) major commercial food processors and producers should 
        resolve to the greatest extent possible to produce products 
        containing key life-threatening allergens on separate, 
        dedicated manufacturing lines;
            (2) labelled ingredient listings, such as ``natural 
        flavors'' or ``vegetable protein'' or other similar terms, 
        should specify their allergenic ingredients clearly by name if 
        those ingredients are key allergens (e.g., ``Natural flavors 
        (includes peanuts)'');
            (3) allergens should be identified in terms understandable 
        to average citizens (such as ``includes milk products'' rather 
        than ``includes casein'');
            (4) foods which are common, life-threatening allergens 
        should not be added gratuitously to products where their 
        contribution to taste is negligible, and where their presence 
        would not reasonably be expected (e.g., shrimp extract in 
        frozen beef teriyaki, or pecans in packaged raspberry cookies);
            (5) industry, consumer, and scientific groups should 
        voluntarily work together for the purpose of better educating 
        food industry workers and the public on the issues of food 
        allergy safety; and
            (6) an assessment of the impact and success of these 
        initiatives should be made not later than one year after the 
        date of adoption of this resolution and reported to the 
        resolution's sponsors.

Pages: 1

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