An ongoing trial showed that only one in 1,673 participants reported adverse reactions to canola oil, according to the regulator. He added that he was still awaiting “clinical confirmation” that it was an allergic reaction.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign, a UK charity specializing in supporting people with severe allergic reactions, said “although allergic reactions to rapeseed oil are almost unheard of…accurate food labeling is of the utmost importance to consumers with food allergies, and we will continue to monitor the situation extremely closely.
The British Retail Consortium said retailers are looking to change product labels as soon as possible.
When sunflower oil was a key ingredient that had been replaced or was being replaced, companies could ink the words “canola oil” on the label. He added that retailers take their responsibilities “very seriously”.
Emily Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said “maintaining consumer confidence remains a top priority”.
She added: “We have looked at the immediate food safety risk of replacing sunflower oil with refined canola oil – particularly for people with food allergies – and it is very low. We know that allergic reactions to rapeseed oil are very rare and – if they occur – are mild.
The FSA has separately published a rapid risk assessment of replacing sunflower oil with refined rapeseed oil.
He said: “Based on the lack of reports of adverse reactions to refined rapeseed oil in the UK population and the lack of evidence of serious illness or death, we believe the frequency of allergic reactions to be very low. and that the severity of the disease is negligible.”
Earlier this month, food and drink makers began pushing for a relaxation of the rules.
Kate Halliwell, Scientific Director of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), said: “UK manufacturers are working hard to ensure food stays on shelves despite intense pressures from the global supply chain.
“We welcome the decision that companies can change their labels to reflect the current lack of availability of sunflower oil, but it is troubling that it has taken two weeks to reach this point.”
She warned that other short-term substitutions of ingredients could arise.
The FDF is working with the government to ensure a “fast track process” is in place to allow this.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-25 18:52:36