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Are The New Food Labeling Laws Innefective?

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I am wondering if the new labeling laws are much less helpful than intended. I am assuming that the grace period for labeling is over, but I could be mistaken.

For example, I was in Costco the other day and saw sausages that had pale ale as one of the ingredients, yet it only contained a warning that they were made on equipment shared with wheat, soy and tree nuts.

Another example, I went shopping for salad dressing and Ken's caesar dressing listed wheat protein as one of the ingredients, yet the warning merely stated: contains milk and fish.

I don't think these companies are deliberately trying to make people sick, so what is going on? Are companies confused about the laws? Or are the laws poorly written? Do the labeling laws specify only wheat and not gluten?

This is extremely frustrating as far as shopping goes. I know you all feel my pain. :-) Thanks in advance for all advice.

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Im no lawyer but I think the new laws must state if the product contains one of the eight top allergans which in this case is Wheat. So if it had say rye in it then wheat would not show.

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For example, I was in Costco the other day and saw sausages that had pale ale as one of the ingredients, yet it only contained a warning that they were made on equipment shared with wheat, soy and tree nuts.

Since most beer is made from barley, it wouldn't have to be stated, because listing the beer as an ingredient is sufficient. Barley doesn't have to be clearly listed.

Another example, I went shopping for salad dressing and Ken's caesar dressing listed wheat protein as one of the ingredients, yet the warning merely stated: contains milk and fish.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe if the company discloses in the ingredient list "wheat protein", it's not required to list it under the warning, or any warning for that matter.

I don't think these companies are deliberately trying to make people sick, so what is going on? Are companies confused about the laws? Or are the laws poorly written? Do the labeling laws specify only wheat and not gluten?

You are correct. Labeling laws specify that the top 8 allergens be declared: wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. This doesn't cover barley or rye, so one of these two could theoretically be listed in something like natural flavors... ie barley malt.

It's very frustrating. But at least we're getting somewhere, and it's better than what food labeling laws were just a couple of years ago.

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Two points (well, three).

First, the FALCPA legislation only requires wheat to be disclosed. Other gluten sources (rye, barley and oats) are not included.

Second, the presence of wheat (or any of the other seven listed allergens) may be made either in the ingredient list, or in separate "contains" statement. The label is legal if it is one place--it does not have to be in both.

And finally, the law applies to anything packaged on or after January 1, 2006. Anything not produced under the law would be at least three and one-half years old at this point.

Here's a list of companies that have a clear gluten policy. If you don't see "wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, oats" on the labels, its not there, or hidden in "flavors, starches, etc." These companies have voluntarily adopted a celiac-friendly labeling policy, and deserve our business.

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As you've seen, you have to read both the ingredients list and the contains list. And the pale ale probably has no wheat, but all know or have to assume it has barley.

richard

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