I’m sure one thing many of us with food allergies were grateful for this Thanksgiving was the ability to enjoy a meal without suffering a severe reaction. Amongst family and friends, those with food allergies can let it be known what they can eat and what they cannot eat in order to stay safe. With that knowledge, our family and friends will gladly prepare scrumptious and safe meals for everyone to enjoy.

When it comes to food items that we buy in the grocery store, however, we must rely upon clear and accurate  labeling. I guess we as a society could do as Ayn Rand suggests and not have any government rules about what is labeled on our food purchases. Let the free market decide who lives and dies from the stray peanut.

On the other hand, most of us would agree that it is good to have rules for proper labeling on food purchases. That is why I for one am grateful that we have the FDA enforcing the rules that we have in place to keep us safe from mislabeled foods. A good example is an FDA recall announced the day before Thanksgiving of certain Sara Lee coffeecakes that contained pecans without being on the label. Like peanuts, pecans are a known allergen for some people, and serious reactions can result from ingesting them.

You can learn more about this recall and others at www.fda.gov/recalls.

M. Robert Blanchard is a former prosecuting attorney, trial lawyer and writer living in Gulf Breeze, FL.

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