Department of Food and Drug Administration for the first time is history agreed to a much prevalent health claim in order to avoid a food allergy.
According to the claim- “ For maximum number of infant population that are suffering from severe eczema or egg allergy or both who are already consuming solid food that contains ground peanuts between the age of 4-10 months and still continue its consumption, have better immunity against developing allergy for peanuts by the age of 5 years”. Still FDA cities that this claim is limited to just one study.
It is certainly great news for food manufacturers who may use this claim immediately after its release. However according to Mr. Scott Gottlieb, M.D. commissioner of FDA , said in a statement made on September 7 that, this claim does not addresses whole peanuts which are real culprits for choking hazards caused in young children and should be avoided.
Based on a petition filed by Assured Bites, Inc., Roslyn Heights, N.Y. that offers ‘Hello’ brand peanuts for infants, this claim was issued as counter response.
Evidences suggests that in U.S. alone, children suffering from peanut allergy has almost doubled up during the years 1997-2008, which has sadly contributed to the primary cause of death resulting from food-induced anaphylaxis. At present there is no specific treatment approved by FDA is available for peanut allergy.
Due to increase in cases of peanut allergy in infants, doctors in US have started suggesting parents not to introduce food items containing peanuts to children less than 3 years of age. Prevention is being practiced all over US. Dr. Gottlieb citied, “While this advice was well-intended, new evidence-based guidelines recommend that the medical community consider a different approach.”
Brand Assured Bites has put in the findings of the LEAP study in the petition. They want a health claim to be issued for a substance that comprises of peanut flour which is grounded whole peanuts and oats. The quantity of peanut flour states the ones used in the LEAP study. These food sachets are added to infant food items like cereal, applesauce or yogurt