In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
On a positive note, the new FAAN guidelines have been voluntarily adopted by certain companies within the food industry for the benefit of the allergic consumer. Numerous consumer complaints and calls from the 6-7 million people in the USA with food allergies, not to mention the fear of lawsuits from the 150-200 people that die each year from them, were certainly motivating factors for them taking this important step. In any case, any change in food labeling practice would have to be an improvement over the present situation. The new FAAN guidelines, however, amount to only recommendations at this point, although Kelloggs and General Mills and several other companies have already adopted them.
Legislation incorporating the FAAN guidelines has been proposed by representative Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) , which, if passed, would make them federal law in the USA. To encourage a stronger version of the proposed new labeling laws, contact your representatives now about this important issue!