Wednesday, May 6, 2020
FDA CONFIRMS CORNSTARCH USED IN PACKAGING MATERIALS IS EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE
My May 3, 2020, Inquiry to the FDA Re: Cornstarch in Packaging Materials, Case #233217
"Are manufacturers required to declare if a product contains cornstarch if any of the packaging materials are pre-dusted with cornstarch? The cornstarch isn't actually added to the food product, but has come into contact with the food product through cross-contact. This particular issue has been raised many times in our corn allergy support groups, so we are very grateful for your attention to our inquiry."
May 5, 2020, Reply from the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food and Cosmetic Information Center (FCIC)/Technical Assistance Network (TAN) has prepared a response for case number 233217.:
"Thank you for your inquiry.
Ingredients in food contact substances (FCS) do not need to be labeled on the label of a food product. The safety of a (FCS) is guaranteed by the manufacturer of that FCS, that is will cause no harm when in contact with food.
Regarding the cornstarch, corn is not one of the 8 major allergens which would need to be declared on a food product label, therefore the cornstarch would not need to be listed on the label.
Thank you for contacting FDA’s FCIC/TAN."
SPECIAL NOTE: Even though cornstarch in packaging material is EXEMPT from FDA labeling requirements, a manufacturer MAY NOT claim their product is corn free if it contains any amount of cornstarch; e.g., I believe this is why I have been reacting to Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza (advertised as “corn free”). I sent a message to Against the Grain inquiring if the cardboard under the pizza or plastic wrapping may have been dusted with cornstarch by their suppliers; however, they have not responded to my inquiry.
Diane H., Corn Allergy Advocate
Corn Allergy Advocacy/Resources