Food Allergies: Deadly and Cureless Food Allergy Information
As if checking calorie and fat content on food labels weren't burdensome enough, consumers have another, perhaps more important reason to pay close attention to the foods they eat: food allergies. The cost of eating foods that cause allergic reactions can be much higher than overindulging on junk food -- perhaps even deadly.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, millions of Americans suffer from allergic reactions to food every year, and while most reactions cause only mild and minor symptoms, some cause more severe reactions that can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, there is no cure for a food allergy; the only way to prevent the health consequences is to avoid the foods that cause allergic reactions. The FDA recommends detecting the allergies early to help avoid exposure.
Since January 1, 2006, food labeling has been improved with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. Under this law, food labels must clearly identify the source of all ingredients that are derived from the eight most common food allergens. The FDA has identified these allergens as milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. Although there are more than 160 foods that could cause food allergies, these eight account for 90 percent of all food allergy reactions.