Do You Have Celiac Disease and Have Questions Or Need Help?
Join Celiac.com's forum / message board and get your questions answered! Our forum has nearly 1 MILLION POSTS, and over 62,000 MEMBERS just waiting to help you with any questions about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. We'll see you there!
Follow / Share
|Get Email Alerts|
- Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)
- Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)
- Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages
- Celiac Disease Symptoms
- The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free
- Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results
- Is Buckwheat Flour Really Gluten-Free?
New Universal Gluten-free Symbol for European Food Packaging
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
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.
Under 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.
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'
Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).
Australian Celiacs Fight to Keep Tough Gluten-free Standards
Australia is home to some of the most stringent gluten-free product standards in the world.... [READ MORE]
New Food Allergy Guidelines from NIAID
The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) released its first ever list of guidelines for food allergies.... [READ MORE]
Celiac Disease Awareness Bill Proposes May as National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
On July 27, 2006, Representative
Nita Lowey (D - NY) introduced H.... [READ MORE]
Gluten-Free Food Certification Program by the Gluten Intolerance Group
The Gluten Intolerance Group® is pleased to announce
our gluten-free food certification program, the Gluten Free Certification
Organization (GFCO), the first program of its kind in the world! This
new independent food processing inspection program will verify that food
products meet the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and a
safe processing environment.... [READ MORE]