I was cruising the grocery store aisles this week in search of a vitamin to supplement my kids’ already healthy diet. From past research, I was already well aware that many gummy vitamins of all different brands say they contain tree nuts. While I’m glad they are being honest with consumers about this warning, it is disheartening to see it in a product that is made for such young children.
So, I passed the gummy vitamins and headed straight for the Flintstone vitamins. After reading the labels and comparing, I was almost set to add the Flintstone vitamins to my grocery basket when I saw it. On the back of the label there was a nut warning with coconut written in parenthesis. (For the record, FAAN and most food allergy organizations do not consider coconut to be allergenic.)
My first thought was, “Are there really tree nuts in this vitamin formula or do are they considering coconut as a tree nut?” This evening, I’m still not sure on that answer but have an email into the company with that exact question. You can bet that if/when I hear anything back, I’ll share it here with you.
My vitamin adventure at the grocery store is just another reminder for the importance of checking, double checking, and triple checking ingredients for every food we eat…even the ones we’ve consumed safely before.
Ingredients change and labels change but our commitment to protecting our kids from food allergies can’t.
UPDATE AS OF 6/5/2012
After exchanging a few emails with Bayer about the new nut warning on the Flintstone vitamin bottles, a very sweet young man called me at home this afternoon to answer any additional questions I might have. *Very impressed with their customer service!
The man I spoke with said the nut warning on the Flintstone Complete Vitamins is somewhat new and is due to FDA labeling regulations. Although many well-established and informed organizations such as FAAN do not consider coconut to be a true tree nut, the FDA does…hence the change in labeling on this vitamin.
The sole reason the nut warning is now listed on the vitamin label is because coconut oil is used in these vitamins. (The Bayer representative I spoke with said the vitamins contain no other tree nuts or peanuts, other than the coconut.) The vitamin ingredients themselves have not recently changed, just the labeling requirements.
Interesting…but I’m definitely impressed with Bayer!