Guidance relating to the food allergen labelling laws in USA currently lists coconut as a tree nut that must be declared when present in a food product. The Coconut Coalition of the Americas has gone public with its intention to make a submission requesting that FDA remove coconut from this list.
The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires foods to declare major food allergens, which are defined as: milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. While coconuts are not specifically included in this legislation, an FDA guidance document on FALCPA published in 2006 includes a list of ingredients identified as tree nuts, and it includes coconut (Cocos nucifera). This is despite coconut not being a tree nut and the incidence of allergy to coconut being very low.
The Coconut Coalition, established in 2017, intends to spearhead the submission of a citizen petition and is seeking support from companies and individuals involved in the industry to help drive the group’s ‘Allergen Project’.
For more information go to https://coconutcoalition.org/allergen-project/