Health Canada Seeks Input for Gluten-Free Label Regulations
I diagnosed myself for gluten intolerance after a lifetime of bizarre, seemingly unrelated afflictions. If my doctors had their way, I would have already undergone neck surgery, still be on 3 different inhalers for asthma, be vomiting daily and having chronic panic attacks. However, since eliminating gluten from my diet in May 2009, I no longer suffer from any of those things. Even with the proof in the pudding (or gluten) my doctors now want me to ingest gluten to test for celiac-no can do.View all articles by Destiny Stone
Health Canada needs public input (photo courtesy of TKOwned)
Celiac.com 05/17/2010 - Finding gluten-free food is hard enough without having to worry if your "gluten-free" labeled food is really gluten-free. For those of us that become increasingly ill from ingesting a small amount of gluten, improper food labeling can be a matter of life or death.
Since 2007, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been contemplating potential revisions for the current “gluten-free” labeling of foods by food manufacturers. As the FDA requirements currently stand, there is very little protection for celiacs and gluten sensitive sufferers. However the new law, if approved, will require companies labeling their products as “gluten-free” to guarantee that their product is completely free of wheat, rye, barley, and oats and any crossbred hybrids or fillers containing wheat, rye or barley or oats, that do not test at less than 20 ppm for gluten.
Meanwhile as we gluten-sensitive American's continue to wait patiently for a final resolve for the FDA requirements for gluten, Canadians are actively revising their labeling regulations for gluten-free. Health Canada has proposed changes in the current labeling regulations for gluten-free. According to the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations, “No person shall label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food unless the food does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye or triticale or any part thereof.” Additionally the words, “gluten-free” is not permitted on any packaged foods containing oats; even if the oats are uncontaminated.
Health Canada is now seeking input from Canadian citizens and shareholders on the proposed labeling regulations to help share information which will aid in the development of proposed changes. The Health Canada website is open to the public for comments from May 13, 2010 until July 11, 2010. For more information on the proposed revisions of Canadian gluten-free labeling, please visit the Health Canada website at:
As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).