Food wrapper: people with latex allergy in danger

A study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency found that one-third of packaging tested was contaminated with latex, which in some cases transferred to the food, according to the Independent.

The findings, reported in Chemistry and Industry magazine, have prompted calls for changes in food labeling, BBC News reports.

A statement from the food watchdog said: "The Food Standards Agency advises consumers not to change what they eat or how they prepare it, as it is not clear that there actually is transfer of allergens from latex to food outside the laboratory."

Latex, derived from natural rubber, is used in food packaging materials such as rubber bands, stickers on fruit and vegetables and in cold-seal adhesives for confectionary.

Although there are no agreements on safe levels of latex, as little as a billionth of a gram (1ng/ml) has been reported to cause a reaction.

The journal said that one company admitted that in some cases whole wrappers were sprayed with latex adhesive.

The results prompted the UK's Latex Allergy Support Group (LASG) to call for the EU to consider the issue of labelling.

Graham Lowe, from the LASG, said: "Only the most sensitive patients might have an allergic reaction to latex allergen transfer to food.

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