In US a federal law has been passed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saying that all the common food allergens present in the food had to be mentioned in the label of the product.
The list of ingredients that come under common food allergens are milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, wheat, tree nuts, soybeans and peanuts.
This law will be effective from January 1st as food allergies are one of the major causes of death in US. The list of ingredients accounted to about 90% of the food allergies in US.
The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act said that manufacturers did not mention the food allergens present in the food due to the fact that there will be a reduction in the sales of the product.
If at all they included the names then it were not easily understood by the commoners. A study conducted by the FDA in Minnesota and Wisconsin revealed that one fourth of the baked foods, ice cream and candy fail to include the food allergen (peanut or eggs) in the label.
According to the new law the food labels have to include common name and the specific allergen name. For example if a product has casein then it has to include both casein and milk in the product label.
According to the statistics 2% of the adults and 5% of the children suffer from food allergies and 30,000 people every year need emergency medical care and 150 individuals die of food allergies.