United States Senate Passes New Food Labeling Legislation
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.
The key labeling provisions are:
- Require that food ingredient statements identify in everyday terminology that an ingredient is itself, or derived from, the top eight food allergens -- peanuts, tree nuts, fish, Crustacean shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, and wheat;
- Require food ingredient statements to identify food allergens used in spices, natural or artificial flavorings, additives, and colorings;
- Require all foods to be re-labeled by January 1, 2006;
- Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a rule defining the term gluten-free and permitting use of the term on food labeling, and;
- Require a final rule regarding the voluntary use of gluten-free on food labels be issued not later than four years after this bill becomes law.
This historic, bipartisan vote, sends a LOUD and clear message to the House of Representatives -- its time to fix food labels.
Thank you for all your work to bring the celiac community to this point.
Scream and shout today, tomorrow we tackle the House of Representatives.
-American Celiac Task Force
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