The European Union (EU) has said it wants to establish a single national market for allergy products to help fight the spread of the pandemic.
However, the UK has rejected the proposal and is in the process of trying to block a proposed EU directive to force manufacturers to carry out safety tests on their products.
British manufacturers say the directive would undermine their right to freedom of choice and prevent them from producing products that are free of allergens.
The British manufacturer of some products, Ozone Foods, says the directive is “unnecessary and counterproductive” as it would make it difficult for the UK to protect its own interests.
The directive would also lead to increased cost and risk for UK manufacturers, which would make the EU market uncompetitive and therefore not worth it.
Ozone Foods said it has already invested more than £1bn in new research and development, while it also plans to increase its production capacity to over 1,000 tonnes by 2020.
Oxfam said it had been working with manufacturers in the EU for some time to improve their processes and to create more safety and value for money for their products, but that the UK had resisted.
The UK, along with other countries, has been lobbying to have the directive in place.
The British government has said the directive does not threaten consumer choice or competition.
The EU Commission, which has the final say on whether a product should be exempt from mandatory testing, is due to publish its final report in June.