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Food labelling regulations: comment by 29 August

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Gabi Steenkamp and Hayley Katz.

Diabetes & allergy issuses need attention

PHANGO is on the case of the draft regulations (see document below) as it is likely that the R4 Close 29 (regulations will replace Regualtion R146 (enforced March 2012).View and Download: Draft Amendment R429 Foodstuffs...

Related Act: Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act (54 /1972) KB

Diabetes

  • No provision for claims that foods are suitable for those with diabetes.  The wording in the draft is such that NO ‘diabetic friendly’ or ‘suitable for those with diabetes’ claims may be made at all. Only claims with the legislated wording contained in the R429 may be stated on food labels. And since there is no mention of diabetes at all in R429, it means that no foods may carry any diabetic claims or wording.
  • The special dispensation granted to Diabetes SA and Glycaemic Index Foundation South Africa for endorsement is only valid until R429 is passed into law, NO diabetes claims or endorsements may be made UNLESS the dispensation is extended.

A joint comment is being prepared by Diabetes SA /GIFSA/. Perhaps there are others who would like to join there comment.

Allergy issues

Food allergies can be life threatenting! So if you have a food allergy you might want to contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Allergy Alive is a non profit organization that deals with the issue of severe and life threatening allergic disease.  Allergy Alive aims to ensure that every person living with severe allergic disease has access to quality comprehensive prevention, protection, and treatment services so as to live a healthy, productive and safe life without limits.

Section 44, 45, 46, 47 of the regulation deals with allergens (substances that cause allergy) (p.37&38) only lists the following allergens: gluten, wheat, cow's milk, goat's milk.

  • Food labeling to disclose food family contamination e.g. Peanuts are a close relation to legumes and lupin ,so people allergic to peanuts may well be allergic to lentils.
  • List as uncommon allergens: Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, sulphites, mustard, celery, lupin and kiwi fruit, sesame seed.
  • Currently those allergic to uncommon allergens in trace amounts cannot safely buy food in South Africa, as there is no labelling guide. Most people cannot afford to import overseas products which means that the daily task of eating is a constant threat.
  • Most food manufactures are not aware that they are obliged to disclose possible contamination factors of uncommon allergens in the production, manufacture and packaging of food items, and we want this to be clearly stipulated.
  • Traceability of products used in the food is essential in terms of contamination. For those dealing with life threatening reactions to trace amounts, this factor is crucial

Additonal allergy resources

Hayley Katz, of Allergy Alive, is the mother of children with these life-threatening allergies. She recommends the following resources:

 

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