Friday, December 22, 2006

In response to a form letter

Dear Any Company,
I want to thank you for your informative response to my query about whether my allergens are contained in your food product.

I have spoken to my doctor. Many times. He continues to tell me to contact companies to verify whether or not my allergens, which are not all on the top 8 list created by the FDA, are contained in a food. He continues to inform me that if I get sick eating a food, that I should avoid eating any other foods including it as an ingredient, regardless of the "standards" in place regarding allergens. He continues to inform me that the only treatment is complete and total avoidance, and yet, that I need calories and in this society...that means the occassional prepackaged food.

I have contacted the companies you put me in touch with. They focus mainly on the top 8 allergens identified by the FDA. They do inform me that the top 8 are not the only allergens out there (Which I guessed, being a corn allergy sufferer) and that though they have very little info on my allergens, I should try contacting companies in order to protect myself.

I realize that you have careful allergy precautions in place. That is why I am hpopeful that I may be able to use your product. What I need to know...is do these precautions protect me from MY allergens? For I'm not a statistic. I'm a human, and although I'm not in the "most likely" group, I still have feelings, health, and physical needs.

Corn is not gluten. It is not Tree Nuts. It is not peanuts, or wheat, or dairy or eggs but it can be contained in any of the above. It is not shellfish, or fresh fish, or soy. Corn is considered hypoallergenic to many, although it causes severe reactions in just as many. It is also the most difficult allergy to isolate, and the most difficult allergen to avoid as it is found incidentally in so many products.

So I ask again. please, check with your suppliers...find the source of ingredients, and ask about the packaging process. Is it safe for me to eat your food?

Sincerely,
A statistically insignificant customer

4 comments:

Von said...

I have to say this is the best RANT that I have ever read.

Kudos. :)

Loztnausten said...

May I use this? Such eloquence escapes me!

Violets said...

Sure...just cite the source ;)

And thank you for reading!

Loztnausten said...

I'll be sure to cite you! LOL!

You know, the more I think about this and the tap dance of being referred to the out-sourced vendors to probe them for molecular information, the more inconsistent it seems. Too much like passing the buck.

When you buy a product that contains chemicals, the vendor of the final product is responsible, upon request, to provide you with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all of it, including contributions from out-sourced vendors. Since food is a chemical process, why are food items exempt from such a procedure? Heck, *salt* has an MSDS requirement!

I know, I know....the EPA and the FDA are separate agencies with distinct regulations. Still....

(rambling off to think about this some more)