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New Universal Gluten-free Symbol for European Food Packaging

Celiac.com 02/06/2012 - Coeliac UK, Britain's leading celiac disease organization has finalized an agreement for all European countries to use a single universal gluten-free symbol on the front of all packaging for gluten-free products.

Crossed Grain LogoUnder the agreement, the Association of European Coeliac Societies will adopt Coeliac UK’s ‘cross-grain’ symbol as the standard for gluten-free labeling across Europe. 

The agreement simplifies what was a confusing web of individual logos on branded and local bakery food packaging.

The overall goal is to establish the logo as the universal quality assurance symbol for gluten-free products.

Coeliac UK's chief executive, Sarah Sleet, told British Baker that the “…European-wide agreement to share the symbol and its quality assurance measures…has huge potential as the commonly-used symbol on packs, because all coeliac consumers recognize it."

She noted that, in the UK, while her organization has licensed the symbol to grocery chains like Warburtons, many supermarkets have simply created their own symbols. This has left many consumers confused about standards of quality and reliability regarding gluten-free products.

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Sleet feels that the agreement to establish a standard European labeling symbol for gluten-free products may help to end that confusion.

“My colleagues in Europe are getting a lot of interest from big players like Carrefour and the German discounters, who are looking to take up that symbol license," she says. "That may put pressure on supermarkets in the UK to adopt it too.”

Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of gluten-free information website Foodmatters, agrees. “I think it would be hugely beneficial for consumers if there could be some agreement about logos," she says. "The current situation is both confusing and potentially dangerous for those with health issues.”

Per capita, the UK has the highest percentage of consumers who avoid gluten. According to data from Kantar Worldpanel data (52 w/e 4 September, 2011), the total UK gluten and wheat-free market is now worth £135.9m, with sales soaring 15.5% annually into the foreseeable future.

Gluten-free consumers, surveyed by McCallum Layton in 2011,
voiced strong support for a universal industry-wide symbol. In that survey, many interviewees complained of varied and confusing symbols, and of product labels that required careful study.

A survey of attendees at The Allergy & Gluten-Free Show 2011 revealed that 80% of people found ‘free-from’ symbols to be helpful, while 85% preferred to see specific logos, such as 'gluten-free,' placed on the front of product packages.

How will European progress toward uniform labeling symbols for gluten-free products impact us here in America? Could we benefit from standards for 'gluten-free'

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4 Responses:

 
Joan
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
06 Feb 2012 1:41:06 PM PDT
One symbol would be extremely helpful.

 
Suki
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
15 Feb 2012 9:19:23 AM PDT
An image of the symbol would be helpful.

 
Marilyn
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
18 Feb 2012 4:40:34 AM PDT
Since many products are imported, an image of the symbol instead of a phone booth would have been apropos.

 
Bj
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
25 Feb 2012 6:15:02 AM PDT
An image of the symbol would be helpful indeed!




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I was wondering if anyone had any advice to help get rid of low back pain caused by inflammation, I never had back pain until I went to a physical therapist for my tingling in my legs, they told me it was from a lower back issue, however I now realized the tingling was from the celiac.

Not on Dapsone, but have found that OTC corticosteroid cream helps lesions clear more quickly and helps with the pigmentation a bit. You don't want to overdo it with the cream as it thins your skin, so only apply to affected areas for a short period of time. Coconut oil (the kind you eat) applied to your skin helps with the dryness and seems to help healing a bit. I would recommend Squirmingitch's advice - go with the Fasano diet. At the very least, avoid eating foods prepared by anyone but you at all costs and try to stay away from open flour/baking. Many celiacs claim to get away with doing these things (and maybe they truly do), but when your reaction manifests externally, it's difficult to pretend that risky behaviours are going below your immune system's radar.

The Rash and various other symptoms are strong signs of Celiac, multiple people in your family also have it. I see several of your symptoms as very familiar to me myself, and I know that supplementation will help resolve the rest of your issues with a gluten-free diet. While we do suggest getting tested for confirmation if your limited as you say with insurance, and money then doing what is best for your health should be your focus right now. Go ahead and remove the gluten from your diet if you wish and go gluten free. If something happens later you MIGHT be able to put up with a gluten challenge and get tested at a later time. I feel for you and see the issues, I have Medicaid myself and my severe gluten reactions and allergies got me on disability for a good while. Testing was a pain in the ass for me as finding a doctor that takes Medicaid is bloody near impossible where I live. I do suggest supplementing Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin D, and B vitamins primarily right now. Others you might be low in are folate, E,C,A and various others. The nerve issues are strongly related to various b vitamins, magnesium, and D. I will share a link of what I take for a example. BTW have you checked out the newbie 101 thread? And if you need help finding gluten-free foods I have a huge list that I have complied for people although we normally suggest a whole foods diet only for the first month or so. Might want to drop dairy and oats for a bit, by the sound of your deficiency issues I would say it would be a huge help doing so. https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/117090-gluten-free-food-alternatives-list/ https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/116482-supplement-and-foods-you-take/

It is meant to show you are a real person not a spammer. Not sure if it works anymore. Only Admin can see it and he doesn't do anything with it.

MelissaNZ, Has your daughter been checked for vitamin deficiencies??? Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include urinary incontinence, oral candidiasis (thrush), skin rashes, bumps on the backs of arms, joint pain, distended stomach and short stature. Bones can't grow much without vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency causes delayed gastric emptying (food doesn't move through the gastrointestinal tract at a normal speed and the intestines bloat) which explains your daughter's delayed reaction to the cake. Vitamin A deficiency is also a cause of bumps on the back of the arms. Vitamin A deficiency causes vision problems. Vitamin A and D are both fat soluble vitamins. Absorption of fats is a problem for Celiacs. So is absorption of B vitamins and important minerals. B Complex vitamins are water soluble and must be replenished every day. Skin rashes are associated with several B vitamins like niacin (B3), B12, and thiamine (B1). I went through a period of severe malnutrition prior to diagnosis. It was not a pleasant experience. I had symptoms similar to your daughter's, including the incontinence, which resolved on vitamin D supplementation. Please, please have your daughter tested for vitamin D deficiency. And have her B vitamins checked as well. Celiac Disease causes malabsorption. Malabsorption causes deficiency diseases. Newly diagnosed Celiacs need to be checked for deficiencies. I hope this helps.