Allergies and intolerances: a problem of increasing public health and economic significance. Nearly 30 % of the Swiss population are affected by an allergy or intolerance. Consequently, about 3,000,000 people in Switzerland are affected and the trend is rising.
The Swiss Allergy Label was launched in 2006 and now, thousands of certified food products pass over the counters of wholesalers and specialist shops. Various cosmetic lines, cleaning and technical products and other consumer goods bear the label. Certified products
The label is registered in numerous countries with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE/IPI) and is hence a protected individual trademark. It indicates a clear added value of the labelled products or services for people with allergies and intolerances.
Several checks by independent agencies are guaranteed with quality seals with certification, which means the results of the initial tests are checked and confirmed by an independent, accredited certification body. The trustworthiness of quality seals with certification is therefore very high.
This means transparency, independent inspection and certification.
When developing the regulations (requirements), Service Allergie Suisse worked closely with specialists from the food and cosmetics sector, for instance, with experts in trademark law and major certification bodies operating at the international level. The guidelines of the association of cantonal chemists of Switzerland were also an influential factor. Finally, industry was included in order to find solutions that would be achievable in terms of production technology.
The Swiss Allergy Label is awarded after a defined certification process that involves three independent authorities. A product or a service is firstly assessed by a technical committee, which ascertains whether it is basically certifiable and complies with the provisions of the established regulations. If the result is positive, a second committee comprising medical specialists decides whether a product or service brings any added value to those affected. Compliance with requirements is assured in a third step by independent accredited certification bodies. This usually takes place on site during the course of the production process. Once certified, products and services are subject to regular review. Service Allergy Suisse is entitled to carry out quality controls at the production plants at any time and without previous notice.
The Swiss Allergy Label does not mean that a product is absolutely allergen-free, but it does guarantee that the requirements set out in the regulations are clearly and strictly complied with.
Extracts from the different regulations are given below.