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May Contain Nuts

Fireworks to be labelled – ‘May contain Nuts’.

The world has officially gone quite mad when it comes to allergies and foods but when they start introducing the necessity to mark everything which comes into the UK with ‘May contain nuts’ because someone may have munched a snickers at lunchtime, you really have to question how far we are prepared to let this go.

The vast majority of firework production takes place in China where over the last couple of years, the government have stepped in to improve working conditions and in particular safety measures. Contrary to popular belief, the firework factories are not full of children in rags taking home pennies to feed their families, it is big business which is intrinsic to the economy. Over 98% of the USA and UK fireworks are from Liuyang along with 80% of all international display shells are made and shipped out of China. There are over 900 factories sending over 11,000 containers annually costing over $430 million so the recent decision to implement the new warning labels is likely to cost thousands.

Some years ago, whilst doing my weekly shop at one of the ‘budget’ supermarkets, I came across a bag of peanuts which had clearly printed on it ‘May Contain Nuts’. Really?!! Well the nuts were sort of the point of the purchase so is it really necessary to offer such a cautionary word of warning to the imbecile who would readily buy a bag of nuts if they have such an aversion to said salty snack?

Initially the rationale for the establishment of a Health and Safety department was to reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries/death by enforcing minimum legal standards. Unfortunately, it is as yet not possible to legislate for crass stupidity. In years gone by, the average human (not wishing to appear sexist) was trusted to use their brain to assess danger in whatever situation arises. Perhaps it is more to do with this generation being under the impression that if you shoot someone they will get straight back up or if you have a crash in your Lamborghini you just lean forward and press reset and you are back up and running again.

The latest decision to introduce labelling on fireworks highlighting ‘may contain nuts’ is an international decision. It beats having to let people know that they most certainly do contain explosives and perhaps, with allergies having cost the UK £68 million per annum and firework injuries on the decline, they may be better served looking to address this issue instead.

REACTION FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Mr Bruce Zolden - CEO of Phantom Fireworks - "I really really think this is NUTS. Excessive use of warning labels about the possible presence of allergens can restrict consumer choice and devalue the impact of warning labels"

Jimmy Singh - Managing Director of Jimmy's Fireworks - "I can't believe this...Big problems ahead for the fireworks industry.....first CE marking and now we have to test for banned substances like NUTS......"

Tommy Glasgow from TNT fireworks - "Until there is a consistent and reliable approach to allergy warnings, consumers – particularly those in high risk groups – need to be aware of the potential risks they face by not only ignoring notices but also failing to read the firework warning label. We hope that by raising awareness, we can help local families to look out for their children's safety"

Mr David DeSafey from Pyro-Talk -

Q: What do you call nuts on a wall?
A: Wallnuts

Q: What do you call nuts on your chest?
A: Chest nuts ETC....

Happy April Fools Day :)

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