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CeliacInSanDiego

What Is The Law On Food Labeling?

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I am so frustrated by food labeling! When I buy some things, it includes that disclosure, "Contains: blah blah blah"

Others have no disclosure.

Others, like supplements, say "Contains no: blah blah blah". But if you don't know that they normally would say "no soy" on their label, and it doesn't mention that it has soy, e.g. it says it contains vitamin E, but doesn't say soy, then what do you do??!!! I just found out that the vitamin E I've been taking is from soy, which I can't take (and that almost all are either soy or wheat!), but the label doesn't say "contains soy" It just says "contains no wheat, gluten, grains, dairy..."

What is the law? And why isn't there a law that says they have to say were ALL ingredients are derived from? Anyone know of a lobbying effort for this?

Thanks!

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There is a law that applies to packaged food (certain major allergens must be clearly listed) but I don't believe the law has any impact on supplements. Your best bet with supplements is to call the company that makes them. I wish the laws were better too. It's frustrating <_<

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Rachel:

Food companies all have the same disclosure, but it is expressed differently.

The Food Labeling Law was passed in 2004 and went into effect Jan 1, 2006.

It covers the 8 main allergens: wheat (not gluten), dairy, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, other nuts. Other sources are not necessarily required to be listed (i.e., many products have corn derivatives, but they don't say corn).

Companies can do it multiple ways. They can have it say:

Ingredients:

X, X, X, starch-Wheat, X, X.

They can also do it:

x, x, x, starch-wheat, x, x.

and then it will say:

Contains: Wheat.

As long as the 8 main allergens are clearly identified, that is all they are required to do. This was a huge step from before. I don't believe that it includes supplements though.

I think the reason (historically, at least) that it isn't always disclosed (or, part of the reason) is that suppliers change, ingredients change, but its cheaper not to have to re-do labels, etc.

Its frustrating, but the only way to know is to call and ask. :(

Laura

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Celiac disease sufferers take note: The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act directed the FDA to establish rules concerning the labeling of gluten-free on products. The proposed rule has been issued and comments are being taken until April 23, 2007. The link will take you to the article. Anyone can comment electronically.

http://www.gluten.net/downloads/FDA-Propos...%20REgister.pdf

Juliec@illinoisfaea.org

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My new philosophy is that if I have to spend more than 10 seconds staring at the label, it goes back on the shelf. I'm approaching the age were I might need reading glasses and I don't want to waste my time staring at microscopic fine print trying to find the word "wheat" buried in an ingredient list.

Anyway, the end result is a MUCH healthier diet since I don't eat a lot of things with lots of dubious ingredients. :P

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How do you comment electronically? This was 23 pages and I didn't read all the fine print to find an address.

You must have missed it. The link was on the first page. Here it is: identified by Docket No. 2005N

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How do you comment electronically? This was 23 pages and I didn't read all the fine print to find an address.

You must have missed it. The link was on the first page. Here it is: identified by Docket No. 2005N

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I am so frustrated by food labeling! When I buy some things, it includes that disclosure, "Contains: blah blah blah"

Others have no disclosure.

Others, like supplements, say "Contains no: blah blah blah". But if you don't know that they normally would say "no soy" on their label, and it doesn't mention that it has soy, e.g. it says it contains vitamin E, but doesn't say soy, then what do you do??!!! I just found out that the vitamin E I've been taking is from soy, which I can't take (and that almost all are either soy or wheat!), but the label doesn't say "contains soy" It just says "contains no wheat, gluten, grains, dairy..."

What is the law? And why isn't there a law that says they have to say were ALL ingredients are derived from? Anyone know of a lobbying effort for this?

Thanks!

I take Super Nutrition Womens Blend antioxidant Rick multi vitamins no yeast wheat gluten buckwheat sugar pollen dairy corn or soy residues. or any hidden additives I called the manufacturers and they said it was made in dedicated factory. :D

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Rachel:

Food companies all have the same disclosure, but it is expressed differently.

The Food Labeling Law was passed in 2004 and went into effect Jan 1, 2006.

It covers the 8 main allergens: wheat (not gluten), dairy, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, other nuts. Other sources are not necessarily required to be listed (i.e., many products have corn derivatives, but they don't say corn).

Not true.. the law was AMENDED and here it is directly from the FDA website..

**************** see below ***********************

``(qq) The term `major food allergen' means any of the following:

``(1) Milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.

``(2) A food ingredient that contains protein derived from a food specified in paragraph (1), except the following:

``(A) Any highly refined oil derived from a food specified in paragraph (1) and any ingredient derived from such highly refined oil.

``(B) A food ingredient that is exempt under paragraph (6) or (7) of section 403(w).''.

*****************************************

A protein derived from above would include Casein and Gluten would it not?

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It would include casien and wheat, but not barley or rye.

There is no difference between wheat gluten, barley gluten and rye gluten (there is but slightly)... If I read the law.. they MUST label any 'gluten' as WHEAT, correct no?

And Casein labeled as MILK.

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There is no difference between wheat gluten, barley gluten and rye gluten (there is but slightly)... If I read the law.. they MUST label any 'gluten' as WHEAT, correct no?

And Casein labeled as MILK.

Well, generally speaking, the term "gluten" is pretty broad and difficult to define correctly, but that particular law mentions wheat, specifically. Wheat derivatives must be listed. Barley and rye derivatives don't need to be.

They are working on a law involving the term "gluten-free" which hasn't been passed yet. That law will include all "glutens" that celiacs react to (I'm not sure if it will include oats).

So, as of right now, casein is labeled as "milk," wheat is labeled as "wheat" and barley and rye don't need to be labeled as anything.

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Well, generally speaking, the term "gluten" is pretty broad and difficult to define correctly, but that particular law mentions wheat, specifically. Wheat derivatives must be listed. Barley and rye derivatives don't need to be.

They are working on a law involving the term "gluten-free" which hasn't been passed yet. That law will include all "glutens" that celiacs react to (I'm not sure if it will include oats).

So, as of right now, casein is labeled as "milk," wheat is labeled as "wheat" and barley and rye don't need to be labeled as anything.

This law only mentions putting an allergen label on foods that CONTAIN gluten - no talk about gluten-free..

If the proteins of Barley/Rye - namely glutenin (aka gluten) are in a food, then it will label it as "Allergens: WHEAT". This was a new amendment to the law. Derivatives of barley or rye which could contain glutenin would also have to be labeled as "Allergens: WHEAT".

This makes the Allergen: WHEAT label very broad.. and someone with a TRUE WHEAT allergy would also not be able to tell if the food only contained barley, rye or oats... since those may contain glutenin which would then force a label of Allergens: WHEAT.

Conceivably.. a food might have the following on it:

"WHEAT FREE"

Allergens: WHEAT.... and ONLY contain the glutenin protein from barley/Rye and it would be a perfectly legal label (BUT CONFUSING).

This also points out that WHEAT FREE does NOT EQUAL GLUTEN FREE :)

However - it means a product which DOES NOT HAVE "Allergens: WHEAT" would be BOTH WHEAT FREE AND GLUTEN FREE!! (and companies which are not complying are breaking federal law!)

BTW the FDA study commissioned by this law said only 20% of all companies were adequately enforcing, apply labels and complying with this prior to enactment.

That is what the law states though.

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I didn't see anything in the section quoted that said that any gluten would be labeled as wheat. Are you referencing something not in this thread?

The proteins in wheat, barley and rye are not the same. They are similar enough that they are commonly lumped together as gluten's that celiac react to. In some contexts (not celiac) the protein in corn is lumped in with glutens ( https://www.celiac.com/st_prod.html?p_prodi...-54107017271.04 )

Note added after reading other thread:

You seem to be taking the logic that the labeling law says that any product with wheat or with proteins derived from wheat (because it is one of the listed allergens) must be labeled as wheat. If the same protein can be derived from multiple sources, it seems that a reasonable alternative would be to interpret that to be that only the ones derived from the listed allergen must be labeled.

As others have pointed out, enforcement is not consistent even on the things that are not subject to interpretation, I'd be really skeptical about enforcement of an interpretation that says to a label something with barley protein as wheat.

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I didn't see anything in the section quoted that said that any gluten would be labeled as wheat. Are you referencing something not in this thread?

My first post in this thread shows it.. see the other thread were I posted links to the FDA website and the law. The law isn't clear because lawyers wrote it!!! Also.. it's all listed AT THE END of the law under the DEFINITION of 'major food allergen'. It then proceeds in (1) to list the 8 allergens. Then paragraph (2) states a protein of the allergens in (1). That means a food label will ONLY label the 8 major allergens.. but that a protein of one of the major allergens as a derivative then makes that food contain 'that major allergen'. I.e. it's a BIG roundabout way to say WHEAT = GLUTEN....

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My first post in this thread shows it.. see the other thread were I posted links to the FDA website and the law. The law isn't clear because lawyers wrote it!!! Also.. it's all listed AT THE END of the law under the DEFINITION of 'major food allergen'. It then proceeds in (1) to list the 8 allergens. Then paragraph (2) states a protein of the allergens in (1). That means a food label will ONLY label the 8 major allergens.. but that a protein of one of the major allergens as a derivative then makes that food contain 'that major allergen'. I.e. it's a BIG roundabout way to say WHEAT = GLUTEN....

The confusion I think is because although wheat is considered an allergin, it can cause a extreme histamine reaction and sudden death in allergic folks, gluten is not an allergin it is an intolerance, while gluten is in wheat it is not apparently considered the allergenic, the wheat itself is. Since gluten is not an allergin items that contain gluten are not allergins, barley and rye thus are not needed to be disclosed at this time.

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The confusion I think is because although wheat is considered an allergin, it can cause a extreme histamine reaction and sudden death in allergic folks, gluten is not an allergin it is an intolerance, while gluten is in wheat it is not apparently considered the allergenic, the wheat itself is. Since gluten is not an allergin items that contain gluten are not allergins, barley and rye thus are not needed to be disclosed at this time.

You may be right there - I am not sure the difference between barley and rye proteins.. but so you all know.. I have an allergic reaction to the gluten in barley and rye as well and my family has a MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS of gluten allergy.. so should I be pushing for this since I am one of those VERY RARE people (any my father and my four boys btw!!!). that has an IgA mediated ALLERGIC REACTION to it - not an auto-immune reaction? (I wonder how subtle the difference is). BTW.. that means the gene's for it are DOMINANT if all four of my kids have it and my dad has it.

Here is a quote from the email I received from the doctor (PhD and MD btw - I didn't include names)

"I'm glad he's better. Sometimes I think all the tests we do are not completely sensitive to all the manifestations of food sensitivity. It is possible that he had a gluten allergy as opposed to celiac disease. In that case our tests, including biopsies might be negative. I must admit I have not seen that before but I have heard the allergists occasionally speak of it. As long as he is gaining weight and doing well I don't see any reason that we would need to see him again soon. It is important that your local doctor follow his growth curve to verify growth adequacy. From the standpoint of filling out health forms etc. I would advise you to call this gluten allergy, not celiac disease.This distinction could be of significance for him in facilitating health insurance coverage. Thank you for the note. Unless we hear back from you, we will assume he is well.

Give him a hug for me"

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dadoffiveboys, you seem to be confused about rye and barley being related to wheat.

They are distinct ingredients. They are not wheat. They are not "derived" from wheat. They are biologically distinct species of plant. Their proteins are not "derived" from wheat protein. They do not have to be disclosed under the current legislation.

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dadoffiveboys, you seem to be confused about rye and barley being related to wheat.

They are distinct ingredients. They are not wheat. They are not "derived" from wheat. They are biologically distinct species of plant. Their proteins are not "derived" from wheat protein. They do not have to be disclosed under the current legislation.

What about if their proteins are the SAME as a wheat protein? The medical literature I read said the proteins are the same which is why I said what I said - are the barley and rye proteins not the same?

I agree 100% we need better labeling.. so here is my question:

Wheat contains four proteins.. the two most offending are Gliadin and Glutenin.

Does Barley and/or Rye contain these proteins? If they do (which is what I read).. would these proteins have to be labeled as WHEAT (YEAH stupid isn't it?!)

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dad,

Here is an example of labeling from Newman's. Newman's is a very well respected company who will always list the 8 allergens.

Newman Family Italian Salad Dressing, lists barley malt in the main contents of the ingredients. It is not highlighted nor listed as one of the eight allergens, as it is not required by law.

Gluten consists of wheat, barley, malt and rye. Only wheat is required by law to list if it is an ingredient.

Wheat free does not mean gluten free.

This is a very important issue. For the l5,000 people that have logged onto this site, it is imperative that they know that if a product says "wheat free", it is not necessarily safe to consume.

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dad,

Here is an example of labeling from Newman's. Newman's is a very well respected company who will always list the 8 allergens.

Newman Family Italian Salad Dressing, lists barley malt in the main contents of the ingredients. It is not highlighted nor listed as one of the eight allergens, as it is not required by law.

Gluten consists of wheat, barley, malt and rye. Only wheat is required by law to list if it is an ingredient.

Wheat free does not mean gluten free.

This is a very important issue. For the l5,000 people that have logged onto this site, it is imperative that they know that if a product says "wheat free", it is not necessarily safe to consume.

Alright.. then is the "gluten" in rye/barley from the proteins that barley/rye naturally contain or is it incidental like in oats from crop cross contamination?

I eat gluten-free Oatmeal without a problem (although expensive).

If the gluten in rye/barley was cross contamination from the crops.. then it would have to be listed as WHEAT in the ingredients right.. because it would truly be from the gluten of the wheat? But naturally, Rye/Barley contains no gluten unless cross contaminated right?

Then are celiacs affected by Rye/Barley which has no gluten from cross contamination if that is the case?

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But naturally, Rye/Barley contains no gluten unless cross contaminated right?

No, that is not correct.

To quote psawyer's post on the other thread, in case others don't click in it:

Glutenin is a protein specific to wheat. It is not the same as gliadin, another protein in wheat. The general class of proteins to which glutenin belongs are called glutelins.

Celiacs react to the prolamins (storage proteins) found in certain plants. Each one is distinct, and has its own name.

The prolamin in wheat is gliadin. The prolamin in rye is secalin. The prolamin in barley is hordein. These three are loosely referred to as "gluten." They are chemically similar. Persons with celiac disease must avoid all three.

Oats have a distinct prolamin named avenin. There is uncertainty about the safety of avenin for persons with celiac disease, and many avoid it. Even if avenin is safe, there is a huge risk that the oats are cross-contaminated with wheat.

Prolamins are found in other foods as well, but these are not an issue for celiacs. The prolamin in corn, zein, is sometimes labelled as "corn gluten." Corn gluten is not gluten in the sense we use the term.

If a product contains gliadin or glutenin it has wheat and must be labelled with the specific word "wheat." Secalin and hordein are not wheat, and are not covered by the labelling law.

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No, that is not correct.

To quote psawyer's post on the other thread, in case others don't click in it:

Ok so then for the food law which we were discussing.. if a product were to contain "Gliadin" or "Glutenin" it would have to be labeled as WHEAT.

This DOES NOT MEAN it is GLUTEN FREE. Correct now right? :)

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