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Tree

Help W/new Labeling Laws?

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OK, this is kinda embarrassing to admit, but...

Do the new US labeling laws that went into effect last year cover disclosure of the "Big Eight" allergens in ANY amount? I've found the original regulations, written in governmentese, and it seems that any amount of the big 8 needs to be disclosed in common language.

Is this true? If so, that could make my life so much easier. If I could know that spices weren't powdered with wheat flour, it would make a huge difference. After all, who's gonna powder a spice with barley flour?

I'm realizing this has been the norm since January '06!

Who has information about this?

Tree

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I've really been wondering this too. I'll read a label that contains questionable ingredients but doesn't have the Contains: Wheat label near the bottom. I know that Barley and Oats and Rye don't have to be labelled so that's another cause for concern. But if the ingredient is wheat-specific and the container doesn't warn of wheat does that make it safe? Is there a possibility that only direct wheat ingrediants need to be considered in the label? Are there some ingredients that we watch out for because there are cross contamination issues as opposed to intentional additions? This would clear up a lot. Thanks.


Dx wheat allergy, possible Celiac disease. 

Dx Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome with wheat as a trigger. 

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Here are some Q & A's about the law: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html

Actually it took some time after January 1, 2006, because the law applied to anything LABELLED after that date. But we probably don't have anything older than that about these days ...

The FDA might set up minimum levels of ingredients sufficient to prompt the warning but I haven't heard of them doing that yet. The rulemaking for defining "gluten-free" is currently going on.

The labelling only applied to intentional ingredients. All those labels you see about "processed in the same facility with," etc., are voluntary.


McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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The food labeling law was passed in 2004 and took effect for foods labelled after Jan 1, 2006, but many companies started before that (i.e., that is why over a year elapsed in between passing and law, to give the companies time to learn and comply).

Yes, any amount of any of the 8 main allergens must be disclosed, which, like you mentioned, includes wheat, but not oats/barley/malt. So, if you see a "modified food starch" and it doesn't state wheat, then it is safe (probably corn starch).

Pure spices (i.e., like in a bottle, from McCormick's) are gluten free. If a food product only has one ingredient (say, rosemary) it is required by law to only be that (it will say "Rosemary" on the front, but won't have an ingredient list on the back, because it is only one ingredient.) Further, McCormick's is a company that will clearly list all gluten ingredients anyways, so you can be doubly sure that their spices are safe. Now, spice packets (say, for a taco mix, or a pasta sauce, etc.) are a different story, and could have a flour in it as a thickener. But, the food labeling laws would apply to it and you would read the label like any other product.

There is a good list of companies that state that they will list all gluten ingredients, so if you read the label on these companies' products, you can feel confident if it does/doesn't contain gluten. Between this and the food labeling law of 2006, life is MUCH easier. (particulary posts #1, 2, and 9 http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...p;#entry259232)

Hope this helps clarify.

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Happygirl,

Thank you! Your reply and links were exactly the info I needed.

Life is good.

Tree

Yes, any amount of any of the 8 main allergens must be disclosed, which, like you mentioned, includes wheat, but not oats/barley/malt. So, if you see a "modified food starch" and it doesn't state wheat, then it is safe (probably corn starch).

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Tree,

You are welcome. Its so nice to come here and get the answer you are looking for! The laws and these companies make life infinitely easier in my house.

Laura

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Yes, any amount of any of the 8 main allergens must be disclosed, which, like you mentioned, includes wheat, but not oats/barley/malt. So, if you see a "modified food starch" and it doesn't state wheat, then it is safe (probably corn starch).

I've noticed a difference lately in some products, reading labels of an older product label vs a newer one, Yoplait strawberry cheesecake yogurt being the latest.. the older version stated "modified food starch" on the label, the newer one stated "modified corn starch". I also saw the same thing on the ingredients of some grilled chicken strips in the lunchmeat aisle... "food starch" vs "wheat starch". It would be nice if *all* companies made the change this way, I like it!


~ Jenn

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