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Wyden, Leahy Letter Asks FDA For Gluten-Free Food Standards

Expected Four Years Ago, the Standards for Gluten-Free Labeling on Foods have Still Not Been Released

Washington, D.C. – After more than four years of inaction by the Food and Drug Administration on their statutory requirement to finalize standards for gluten-free labeling on foods, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) have sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg seeking answers for the extreme delay and an update on when the FDA will propose a final rule.

Included as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, the FDA was tasked with proposing rules for gluten labeling within two years of enactment and finalizing rules within four. In January of 2007, the FDA issued its proposed rule but no final rule has been promulgated or issued since then. In the letter, Wyden and Leahy raised concern that the lack of federal standards for what could be counted as “gluten-free” has caused confusion for consumers and agricultural producers leaving outside groups free to create their own standards.

“The regulatory uncertainty surrounding FDA’s inaction has led to a proliferation
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of ‘gluten free’ standards and labels provided by 3rd party groups,” the senators wrote. “This creates confusion for consumers, and hesitancy amongst producers on what their requirements will be. We ask that you provide us with an update on when FDA will promulgate a final rule, why FDA has taken so long to issue this rule, and if there are any legal or regulatory hurdles that have prevented the timely implementation of this legislation.”

For many, gluten-free products are a dietary alternative to bread-based products but for sufferers of Celiac disease – a painful disorder stemming from the inability to properly digest the gluten found in breads – having accurate and standard labeling for these products is essential.

Click here to read the letter.

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If you're going to continue to push for a diagnosis stay on gluten! A break could lead to a false negative. It's a lot harder to go off it and then go back on...

I still prefer steaming, but I wash my white rice throughly. I purchase California rice which has a lower level of arsenic. Moderation is key to most everything! ?

I eat pretty much grain free just fine, I eat fats instead. But on a side note I posted some specialty and grain free options as of late in the food alternative page where I list companies and food product alternatives. I honestly just welcomed bread back into my life, I found a company that makes grain free bread out of nut flours. Given you have to toast the dang bread to use it well but seems to work decently. Pasta there are carb free versions out there, and there are ones made with quinoa, buckwheat, or other grains, I even know one company that makes nut flour based ones. You can get these gluten-free options and avoid the rice. As to levels of arsenic they do test foods for these, and all should be safe, the trace amounts and the sheer amount you would have to eat to get effected is staggering, a bit of rice will not hurt you regardless if your concerned I know gluten-free watchdog does arsenic testing on products you could check and find the "safest ones" for your concerns.

I've forgotten them, just remember the good stuff. Weekends in Baja or Vegas or up Pacific highway to see the Redwoods and Frisco. Watching the sunrise at Mount Soledad and watching it drop into the Pacific in the evening. Carne Asada Burritos on Garnet* Solana beach ale* Gorgeous women entranced by my exotic accent, humboldt county weed, raves at the romper room, *1.99 are you out of your mind Denny Breakfasts, Christmas on the beach, *Beers in the gaslamp quarter. I need one of these * which by the power of my imagination have magically become gluten free AANNNYWAAY... Arsenic in rice. Yeah.

Oh, it definitely struck me as very odd! It also says "no significant increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes". That's their favorite word I guess! My blood work pre-biopsy also showed increase lymphocytes and my primary doctor said it usually means increased inflammation. Doing all the things I can now---filing a complaint, I've emailed my doctors to tell them I'm upset and don't think I received proper care, I'm in the process of trying to see a naturopath that diagnosed a friend of a friend w celiac. I'm going to see if i can get the other blood work done with them---and I've been gluten free for a week and a half!