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Consumers Still Waiting on FDA to Clearly Define “Gluten-Free”

Consumers Still Waiting on FDA to Clearly Define “Gluten-Free”

Seven years ago, Congress first ordered the FDA to define what it means for a product to be gluten-free under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. Now, four full years after the imposed deadline for this information to be available to the public, consumers are still waiting for an answer.

So, what’s the holdup?  A Washington Post article states that, according to Aleissio Fasano, medical director for the Center for Celiac Research:

The FDA has spent years calling upon experts to have open-forum debates, town hall meetings — we’ve been having reiteration and reiteration. They’ve been reiterating and listening to Grandma, Grandpa, people on the street corners. . . . I really don’t understand why it’s lingering up in the air when it really should be a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, the combined 20 million estimated Americans who suffer gluten intolerance, celiac disease, gluten allergy and other conditions which preclude the ingestion of gluten, are left to depend on voluntary labeling from the food industry itself — not always a trustworthy source for such sensitive health information. A gluten-free advocacy group, “1 in 333″ (representing the number of Americans who suffer from gluten-related health problems) hosted the Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit, an event in Washington D.C. on May 4th, 2011, to bring awareness to the urgent need for the gluten-free labeling issue to be resolved.  The group went to Capitol Hill to present lawmakers with the world’s largest gluten-free cake.

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition here to demand the Food and Drug Administration act now to define “gluten-free” for labeling and food-packaging purposes!

Related Stories:

Canada To Make Identifying Allergens in Foods Easier

Fermented Wheat Sage for Celiacs Sufferers?

China Modifies Cows to Produce Human Breastmilk

 

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Photo credit: dreamstime

 

 


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69 comments

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5:32AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

FDA is too busy harassing small farmers & milk producers. They need to be reorganized & told WHO is really in charge!!

9:03PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

Gluten Free = No gluten added, seriously how hard is it???

8:14PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

SIMPLE PROTEIN THAT WILL NOT STICK TO YOU.

2:21PM PDT on May 27, 2011

thx. for post peace

5:56PM PDT on May 26, 2011

signed:)

10:50AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Is the govt out of money? That's why there's no progress?

8:47AM PDT on May 24, 2011

A very important call to action....

7:28AM PDT on May 23, 2011

I am very allergic to oats and found it amazing how many items use oats-a local ice cream shop (name starts with the letter F and ends inY) that is national,well est. ,had a manager who was adding oats to his hot fudge sauce to thicken it-Icould not fiqure out why i always got sick there until a server told me

11:41PM PDT on May 20, 2011

This is very true, Michael. Who would think that a fruit or veggie that had a sticker on it could contain gluten on the skin where that sticker was? It is true ... the glue can be made from it. And envelopes ... we aren't even supposed to lick an envelope. Who would think chicken could contain gluten? It can. So can mustard and so can parmesan cheese, and yellow cheeses. It is way more difficult than one can even imagine to be gluten free in this world today.

4:43PM PDT on May 20, 2011

I have someone in my family who is gluten intolerant and it is sometimes very difficult to discern which foods contain wheat, etc... Sometimes, we find wheat in places we would never suspect. Labeling is way overdue....

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