The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the availability of industry guidance on food allergen labeling exemptions. Titled “Food Allergen Labeling Exemption Petitions and Notifications,” the guidance reportedly explains the agency’s “current thinking on the preparation of regulatory submissions for obtaining exemptions for ingredients from the labeling requirements for major food allergens in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) through submission of either a petition or a notification.”

The guidance aims to clarify the criteria for labeling exemption petitions submitted under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which requires all food and beverage labeling to declare the presence of major food allergens using their common names. Under these rules, companies can obtain labeling exemptions by demonstrating that an ingredient derived from a major allergen ‘‘does not cause an allergic response” or “‘does not contain allergenic protein.” See Federal Register, June 19, 2015.