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Wyden, Leahy Letter Asks FDA For Gluten-Free Food Standards
- By Scott Adams
- Published 07/26/2011
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
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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In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
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