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NZFSA warns about lecithin

NZFSA warns about lecithin

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is warning users of dietary supplements containing lecithin to check whether the product is safe for them to take if they are allergic to eggs or soy.

Lecithin is a product of egg or soy and used mainly as a food additive but is also contained in some dietary supplements as the main ingredient or as an emulsifier.

“Soy and egg are common allergens, so for some people dietary supplements containing lecithin may not be safe. Consumers need to be advised, through adequate labelling, when food allergens are present,” NZFSA Director of Domestic and Imported Food, Tim Knox, said.

“We have become aware that there are dietary supplements containing lecithin on the market that don’t clearly state on the label that lecithin is a product of egg or soy. We have not had any complaints from consumers about allergic reactions to these products. However we are advising consumers who may be concerned about this to seek clarification from the manufacturer of the product they are using,” Mr Knox said.

“Similarly there may be other ingredients in dietary supplements that may cause an allergic reaction in some people and we would advise them to contact the manufacturer for clarification if they are concerned,” Mr Knox said.

“We are in the process of working with the dietary supplement industry on this issue,” Mr Knox said.

Food allergy symptoms vary from a mild response such as a skin rash to a life threatening reaction.

“Anyone concerned about their health following the consumption of a product they may be allergic to should seek advice from their healthcare professional,” Mr Knox said.

Ends

This statement is made under section 37 of the Food Act 1981 and is protected by qualified privilege. It is made under delegated authority from the Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

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