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Researcher says proposed gluten-free standards are sound - Florida Times-Union (blog)

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 07:17 AM


Researcher says proposed gluten-free standards are sound
Florida Times-Union (blog)
When you're diagnosed with celiac disease, the first thing you're told is that you have to eliminate gluten from your diet. Basically, if you have celiac, the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley is attacking your small intestine and the only ...
FDA finally regulating foods labeled 'gluten-free' Boston Globe
The FDA Wants Your Gluten-Free Cookies to Actually Be Gluten-Free SF Weekly (blog)
FDA Finally Pays Attention To People With Gluten Intolerance Gothamist
ConsumerReports.org  - Lexology (registration)
all 9 news articles »

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 09:04 AM

FDA needs all of our feedback:
ppm is only half the battle
the other is what will the FDA allow folks to print on their labels
(should NOT be allowed to state gluten free on front product label, IMHO, if says 'processed in facility that also processes wheat' UNLESS there is testing)

Was announced past week that the FDA will await more comments before finalizing regs on gluten free food labeling. Send them your comments!

One last chance to let them know your experience and what needs to be done to protect people with Celiac Disease.

I submitted comment that if it were peanuts, they would not allow a product to state "Peanut Free" on the label, if on the back of the jar, in small print, it said "Processed in a Facility That Also Processes Peanuts"! Why should that be different with gluten? I've been nailed so many times by products like that, until I finally started only buying prepared foods that state "Certified Gluten Free." Really, why should it be OK to double me over with abdominal cramps, sending me back and forth to the bathroom, making me sick to my stomach, kill all the living villi in small intestine, and open me up to a multitude of other auto immune diseases? If they want to advertise gluten free, they should be required to test for it to ensure that it is.

How to contact:

The docket will officially open for comments after noon on Aug 3, 2011 and will remain open for 60 days.
To submit your comments electronically to the docket go to www.regulations.gov
1. Choose “Submit a Comment” from the top task bar
2. Enter the docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 in the “Keyword” space
3. Select “Search”
To submit your comments to the docket by mail, use the following address:
The Division of Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
Include docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 on each page of your written comments.
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Diagnosed 8-8-08 (I think I'll remember that date!)
Positive blood panel
Endoscopy a little later on confirmed, via Small Intestine Biopsy
Adult son diagnosed Celiac in his late 20s
Suspect my Mother undiagnosed Celiac




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Posted 09 August 2011 - 10:01 AM

I wrote to tell them that 20 ppm foods make me sick. Hardly anyone on the board can eat Amy's, for a 20 ppm example. I prefer GFCO foods too, and I told the FDA that.

There is another "gotcha" in the FDA proposal. They want to only allow foods that wouldn't normally be gluten-free to be labeled as such. Sort of like how it's illegal to label a banana "fat free" since bananas are always fat free. The problem is that Tricia Thompson's study showed CC over 20 ppm in samples of flours from naturally gluten-free grains like millet and buckwheat. How can we ever buy safe baking supplies if it's illegal to test flours and label them gluten-free?
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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:00 AM

20 ppm - the "low gluten" $%^&*(*())@+!!! bull pucky manure.

The Mark Basch, gluten glutton (name of blog) writer at the Jacksonville.com link has not been gluten free that long, (since Dec 2010) and hasn't been writing about it that long, and I don't think he's cooked gluten free that much yet, so we get dismissive, simplistic stuff like this -

Guandalini said that "studies have shown quite conclusively" that all celiacs can safely consume up to 10 mg of gluten per day. That means a celiac would have to ingest more than 1.1 pounds daily of foods that contained the maximum of 20 ppm of gluten to potentially damage the intestine, he said.

He also said while all celiacs can consume 10 mg, the majority can consume up to 50 mg of gluten per day, so the majority could eat up to 5.5 pounds a day of those foods before getting sick.

I do not trust anything coming out of the University of Chicago.

You know, and I know, and most of us who really are celiac or gluten intolerant know, somebody or ourselves that have eaten relatively small quantities of gluten contaminated food, sometimes even labeled to that less than 20ppm, and gotten deathly ill on it.

Just like I would not interview just one person for a point of view on a deep topic regarding food safety for millions of patients, and then say, but sure, it's okay, we can adopt the European standards without researching on whether the Europeans are happy, healthy and well on those standards, because this doctor said so. Author Basch does not even use the word "Codex !"

The FDA News release of 8/2/11 http://www.fda.gov/N...s/ucm265838.htm says that they are reopening comments on the 2007 proposal. .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today reopened the comment period for its 2007 proposal on labeling foods as “gluten-free.” The agency is also making available a safety assessment of exposure to gluten for people with celiac disease (celiac disease) and invites comment on these additional data.
- - -
The proposed rule conforms to the standard set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, which requires that foods labeled as “gluten-free” not contain more than 20 ppm gluten. This standard has been adopted in regulations by the 27 countries composing the Commission of European Communities.

Well, just how much of that Codex Alimentarius 2008 are we going to adopt here? The FDA pages I am seeing are not showing that side by side with their page on the 2007 proposal.

Yes, if we are not careful, we are going to have the FDA thinking it is okay to give these food labelers a big loophole, low gluten, and end up with something worse than what we have now, which is sort of random chaos with intervals of voluntary compliance. We could also end up with "gluten free" foods imported from Europe, which are made from highly processed wheat starch. They are also currently, from what I think I am seeing, ignoring oats. No, wait, I found another page that mentions the oats. Some celiac people are sensitive to oats, even supposedly "clean" specially grown oats that are not cross contaminated in the field or by harvest/processing.

No. Not acceptable.

If the food has the gluten-free label on it, it needs to mean something.

But us eaters down here in the trenches need to be able to figure out what FDA means.

I am so annoyed when I react to something that is labeled gluten free here in the U.S. I get neurological symptoms. I have real physical damage from decades of the wrong diet and lack of diagnosis. We exist as between 1% and at least 5% of the current population. There are so many misconceptions out there, I've been reading whacky statements by media medical "experts" that are absolutely infuriating - there is one big time "scientific" troll out there who keeps linking to these articles calling food intolerances "woo - woo science" and has special interest groups calling gluten free a fad and worse.... I have been knocking this sort of thing down for years, and it's worse when you know that the word "science" is being abused and used for "profits and non accountability."

There was at least one fake study in 2010 done with the conclusion that a gluten free diet did not help children on the autism spectrum, which was not done scientifically in a valid manner, and the person doing it, it turned out was working on pharma drugs. Yet the story ran wild over the media. No, gluten free casein free does not "cure" them, but on the other hand, it's already been proven by recent studies published in those science journals that the celiac and type 1 diabetes and autism genes are all interconnected in terms of increased probabilities, and it's not made up nonsense to have parents observing that some of their autistic kids do react poorly to certain foods. Having autism does not mean you can't have a food intolerance, yet the Mayo Clinic online site currently insists this is so, regarding gluten. This is both sad and awful. There were lots of infuriated parents with good science training studying the flaws in the study and complaining about its misleading conclusions, also.

Other times there are people like these "registered dieticians" that just do not seem to comprehend that the cross contamination issue is also driving the increased need for gluten free foods, (want to kiss somebody who just ate wheat? thought not) besides the fact that as the population ages, it becomes more vulnerable to the development of auto immune diseases - but I'm working on it.

There are pressures coming from many different aspects of the political, lobbying, food, science, and medical/pharma communities to have a certain type of gluten free labeling regulation.
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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:13 AM

Part of the mess:


FDA proposes in Sec. 101.91(a)(3) to define the claim ``gluten-
free'' to mean that a food bearing the claim in its labeling does not
contain any of the following: (1) An ingredient that is a prohibited
grain; (2) an ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and
that has not been processed to remove gluten; (3) an ingredient that is
derived from a prohibited grain and that has been processed to remove
gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 ppm
or more gluten in the food (i.e., 20 micrograms or more gluten per gram
of food); or (4) 20 ppm or more gluten.
Examples of a prohibited grain include, but are not limited to,
barley, common wheat, durum wheat, einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, kamut,
rye, spelt wheat, and triticale. Examples of ingredients that are
derived from a prohibited grain and that have not been processed to
remove gluten include, but are not limited to:
<bullet> Farina, flour made from any of the proposed prohibited
grains, graham, and semolina;
<bullet> Hydrolyzed wheat protein, vital gluten, wheat bran, and
wheat germ; and
<bullet> Barley malt extract or flavoring and malt vinegar.
Because these ingredients are derived from a prohibited grain and
have not been processed to remove gluten, they are presumed to contain
Examples of ingredients that are or are sometimes derived from a
prohibited grain and processed to remove gluten include, but are not
limited to:
<bullet> Food starch--modified (modified food starch); and
<bullet> Wheat starch.
Although these ingredients have been processed to remove gluten,
FDA recognizes that there may be different methods of deriving these
ingredients, and that some methods may remove less gluten than others.
Therefore, FDA proposes to prohibit a food that contains one of these
ingredients from bearing a gluten-free labeling claim if the use of the
ingredient results in the presence of 20 ppm or more gluten in the

there is more at the link
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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:41 AM

And then there is this, from the same page:


FDA is not proposing to include oats in the definition of a
prohibited grain. As discussed in section I.C.3 of this document, the
unconditional exclusion of oats from the diet of individuals with
celiac disease is not supported by the National Institutes of Health
Conference Development Conference Statement on Celiac Disease (Ref. 1)
or by the American Dietetic Association (Ref. 58). FDA recognizes that
a small percentage of individuals with celiac disease may not be able
to tolerate some of the proteins that naturally occur in oats. However,
it appears that a great majority of individuals with celiac disease can
tolerate a daily intake of a limited amount (e.g., 50 grams) of oats
that are free of gluten from wheat, rye, barley or their crossbred
hybrids. Oats are reported to add variety, taste, satiety, dietary
fiber, and other essential nutrients to the diet of individuals with
celiac disease; thereby making their diet more nutritious and appealing
(Refs. 44, 51, 56, and 71). Inclusion of oats in the diet of
individuals with celiac disease who can tolerate oats may therefore
result in the improved nutritional and health status of those
individuals (Refs. 55 and 71).
According to comments FDA received in response to its August 2005
public meeting on gluten-free labeling, at least two food manufacturers
can produce

[[Page 2802]]

oats that do not contain gluten from wheat, rye, barley, or any of
their cross-bred hybrids. Allowing such oats to bear a gluten-free
labeling claim would make them easier to identify and perhaps would
encourage other manufacturers to produce such oats. Conversely,
including oats in the definition of prohibited grain could eliminate
any incentive for manufacturers to produce oats free of gluten from
other grains because those manufacturers would have no way of
distinguishing their products in the marketplace. FDA requests comments
on whether the agency should include oats in the definition of a
prohibited grain.

Yee gads. How do I tell them let the manufacturers continue to make the gluten free tested and labeled oats for those who want them, but leave the stuff OUT of the regular category of gluten free foods so it is not showing up unannounced in things like gluten free chips, bread, cakes, and bagels ?

If the great majority of celiac people aren't diagnosed yet, how can they keep making this claim that the "gluten free" oats work for the majority ?
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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:01 AM

If the great majority of celiac people aren't diagnosed yet, how can they keep making this claim that the "gluten free" oats work for the majority ?

I might start a poll on the board becasue I'm curious. I have the sense that a lot of us do tolerate oats. I certainly do.

The rest of it is maddening. I've already gone and said my piece. I would encourage EVERYONE on the board to write. Read the legislation and make sure you address anything in it that would be a problem for you when you pick up a box of "gluten-free" food under the new regulations.
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