Once you are at the THOMAS website, the easiest way to find something is select the name of the sponsoring congressperson or senator, and scroll down until you find the matching bill. (searching by keywords can be done, but this is the easiest way to see if somebody actually introduced a bill, or they are just talking about it. And yes, sometimes they are just gathering lists of names to solicit later, so you need to check. ( Now that you have the number, you can plug it into THOMAS, but you also need to know what year, because sometimes there are multiples. )
The bill's number is H.R. 4972
The bill's title is Gluten in Medicine Identification Act of 2012 It was introduced 4/27/2012
purpose of bill: to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the label of drugs intended for human use to contain a parenthetical statement identifying the source of any ingredient constituting or derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient
so far, it is sponsored by Rep Tim Ryan, D, (OH-17) and Nita Lowey, D, (NY-18)
The status of the bill is that it has been referred to committee, of the House Committee of Energy and Commerce
Typically, this is where the majority of bills go to die, never to be heard from again. Unless the committee can be persuaded that there is enough public sentiment that getting them OUT of committee and to the House floor for a vote is a good idea.
I noticed that Tim Ryan and Nita Lowey are not even on Energy and Commerce.
They are also the minority party, fewer of them on the committee than the R's, so the other party ® must have some movement on this bill, or it goes into the circular file. Sometimes they save bill titles and numbers, and then put completely different legislation under them, this is where you need to be hyper vigilant (and have THOMAS bookmarked to keep track)
If you are contacting your congressperson, see if they are already on this committee. THESE are the people that should be contacted ! Here is a list of the membership for May 2012, the 112th Congress
Energy and Commerce House Committee
Henry A. Waxman (CA)
John D. Dingell (MI)
Edward J. Markey (MA)
Edolphus Towns (NY)
Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ)
Bobby L. Rush (IL)
Anna G. Eshoo (CA)
Eliot L. Engel (NY)
Gene Green (TX)
Diana DeGette (CO)
Lois Capps (CA)
Michael F. Doyle (PA)
Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Charles A. Gonzalez (TX)
Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Mike Ross (AR)
Jim Matheson (UT)
G. K. Butterfield (NC)
John Barrow (GA)
Doris O. Matsui (CA)
Donna Christensen (VI)
Kathy Castor (FL)
John Sarbanes (MD)
Fred Upton (MI)
Joe Barton (TX)
Cliff Stearns (FL)
Ed Whitfield (KY)
John Shimkus (IL)
Joseph R. Pitts (PA)
Mary Bono Mack (CA)
Greg Walden (OR)
Lee Terry (NE)
Mike Rogers (MI)
Sue Myrick (NC)
John Sullivan (OK)
Tim Murphy (PA)
Michael Burgess (TX)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Brian P. Bilbray (CA)
Charles F. Bass (NH)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Steve Scalise (LA)
Bob Latta (OH)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
Gregg Harper (MS)
Leonard Lance (NJ)
Bill Cassidy (LA)
Brett Guthrie (KY)
Pete Olson (TX)
David McKinley (WV)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Mike Pompeo (KS)
Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Morgan Griffith (VA)
HERE IS THE PDF DOWNLOAD OF THE TEXT OF HR 4927 April 27, 2012
the initial text of this says now: (I omitted the line numbers, that's why there are dashes in odd places
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the label of drugs intended for human use to contain a parenthetical statement identifying the source of any ingredient constituting or derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Gluten in Medicine Identification Act of 2012’’.
SEC. 2. LABELING OF SOURCE OF HUMAN DRUG INGREDI- ENTS CONSTITUTING OR DERIVED FROM A GRAIN OR STARCH-CONTAINING INGRE-
(a) MISBRANDING.—Section 502 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 352) is amend- ed by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(aa) If it is a drug— ‘‘(1) that is intended for human use; ‘‘(2) that contains an ingredient (other than a
polyol) that constitutes or is derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient; and
‘‘(3) whose label fails to include a parenthetical statement identifying the source of the ingredient so constituted or derived.’’. ( APPLICABILITY.—Section 502(aa) of the Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as added by subsection (a) of this section, shall apply beginning on the sooner of—
(1) a date to be determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and
(2) the date that is 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act
To contact your congressperson, go to the that congressperson's government webpage, which will have an email contact form and their email address.
When you are contacting a representative about a bill, it helps to use the bill number (HR 4972), title, and know what committee is supposed to be responsible for its progress.
I looked at the sample "editable" text at the American Celiac Disease Alliance, and I don't care for it that much. They seem to have missed the punchline: The problem is that drug manufacturers can currently use unlabeled grain fillers in medications which can provoke an allergy or an auto immune reaction, for people who are already SICK as a result of allergy or auto immune reaction to grains. Unlabeled drugs make people SICK. Example: many thyroid patients are also celiac, yet thyroid meds can contain wheat, which provokes a celiac auto immune response - which can trigger thyroid disease or make it worse.
Analogy: would you expect sugar candy in a diabetes medication ? Ragweed in your antihistamine ? Caffeine in your heart meds ? Salt in your blood pressure pills ? Why is there wheat in thyroid meds ?
Saying it's necessary because of a medically required gluten free diet is true, but it does not emphasize the seriousness of the situation, and it sounds more passive.
3 million celiacs and 7 million more gluten intolerants = 10 million people who could be positively impacted by this bill in the United States. Having people NOT get sick from medication could save money for employers who have healthier workers, and for health plans who don't have to pay for medication which cannot be used.