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The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021 (FLMA, H.R. 4917/S. 2954) has been introduced in the House and Senate. If passed, the bill would make long overdue changes to food labeling in the United States. The FLMA aims to make food labels clearer and more accessible for all Americans, including people living with food allergies.

“This bill will bring much-needed clarity to food labels so Americans can make informed, healthy decisions for themselves and their families. Current labels are a confusing maze and fail to provide important, useful information to consumers. The Food Labeling Modernization Act will ensure serving sizes are updated, allergens are clearly labeled, and nutritional information is transparent, giving people the tools they need to make healthier choices and avoid misleading, deceptive pitches and promotions. − Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

The bill would require updates to how nutrition and food allergy information is listed. The FLMA includes four major changes for the food allergy community:

  1. “Gluten-containing grains” – It would require that “gluten-containing grains” are labeled in the same way as other major food allergens.
    • Right now, “gluten-containing grains” barley and rye do not have to be noted on food labels. This bill would change that, and “gluten-containing grains” would be the 10th major allergen.
    • Wheat will continue to be labeled as a major allergen.

  2. Easier updates to the list of major allergens – The bill would allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require labeling of more allergens based on the how common and severe reactions are to that food ingredient.
    • This will allow FDA to more easily add to the list of major allergens and would not require Congress to pass a law.

  3. Online database of packaged foods involved in interstate commerce
    • The FDA will require manufacturers and importers to submit allergen information along with nutrition facts labels, ingredient lists, images of their product, and health claims.
    • The FDA will maintain the database and it will be available to the public.

  4. Allergen information available when buying foods online – The bill would require all labeling that is available in stores to be available when buying foods online.
    • When shopping for groceries online, the same on-package information including allergen disclosures will be required at the online point of purchase.

“Americans ought to have clear information on what’s in their food. This bill will grant people a much better understanding of their diet so they can make healthier decisions and avoid dangers like allergens.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

On Aug. 3, 2021, Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the FLMA.

We thank all the bill sponsors for their leadership of this critical bill. And we look forward to working with other groups in the food allergy community to get this bill passed.

You can help to by asking your legislators to support the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021. Use our tool below to send an email to your representative. You can also choose to post your message on Twitter. Just follow the steps below:

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Comments (2)

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Thanks for the encouragement, @esnownd. You're right labeling is a critical issue for everyone in this community. I hope you'll join in some of the many Labeling discussions.

We're glad you're here in the KFA community! All the best.

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