Food Policy

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A woman buys a popsicle from a roadside vendor and inquires whether it contains cochineal extract or carmine dye. The vendor checks the label and assures the lady that it uses common food colouring. Minutes later the woman is admitted to a hospital for life threatening anaphylactic shock from a reaction to the colouring in the product.


Diners will inquire about the ingredients to avoid allergens or potential carcinogens. They may be sensitive to the environmental origins of the product. It may be important to know the preservatives, emulsifiers, antioxidants, or acidity regulators. Tracking the ingredients through a restaurant kitchen can be one of the most important services the facility can provide to its customers.
To begin an investigation of food labelling it's necessary to determine who is responsible for the labels on food. Food is subjected to local laws, regional laws, and international standards. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulate labelling, but the individual states have varying standards. In June 1989, the European Union adopted the first directive to mandate control with the Official Control of Foodstuffs (Jukes 2007). However, individual member nations still have local authority for the labelling of food. The European Commission is currently reviewing the directives and a concrete proposal is expected sometime in 2007 (Brans, 2006, p.2). Member nations continue to set their own labelling standards. ...
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