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srthomas21

Label Laws In United States

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Ok, so I basically will eat anything that does not have wheat or other offending grains listed on the label. The only exception to this is if it says also processed in a facility that processes wheat. In that case I stay away.

I read in the book Celiac Disease be Dr. Peter Green that basically says due to the new label laws in the United States that you are safe to trust them because they have to disclose wheat on the label. Its a really good book by the way. Every Celiac should read it.

Am I incorrect in my thinking? I eat Lays potato chips all the time because there is no wheat listed and it does not say processed in a facility that also processes wheat but I read a post on here that basically said there was no brand of potato chip that was safe due to cross contamination issues.

Any help would be appreciated. There is a lot of mis-information out there but it seems like that book would be a good resource because it is written by a doctor who specializes in the disease.

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This is a great question and one I share with you. I too was eating lays chips because I thought it was mandatory that they disclose the made in a facility with wheat but come to find out, they don't. They do have a disclosure on their website which I would not have seen had it not been for this board. I am disgusted by this because I am super sensitive and could not for the life of me figure out why I still felt so sick. Doesn't this also apply to gluten free chex? What are the label laws? Seriously, I have more to do with my time than call all manufacturers and even then, are they telling me the truth? It drives me crazy.

vent over.

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A brief summary of key points in the US food label laws:

Wheat must be disclosed, along with 7 other common allergens. Barley, rye and oats are not included, so not all gluten is required to be disclosed. The disclosure can be made either in the igredients list, or in a "Contains:" statement accompanying the ingredients. Many companies do both, but that is not required.

There is nothing in the law about cross-contamination. Ingredients lists and contains statements are only required to mention things that are intentionally included in the product. Similarly, "gluten free" is permitted if no gluten is intentionally added to the product.

Statements about shared facilities and/or shared equipment are completely voluntary.

Although not required by law, there are a number of companies/brands that have a policy to clearly disclose all gluten sources, not just wheat, in their ingredients lists. Click here for a partial list.

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As standard industry practice is to clean lines between product runs, there is no requirement in labeling laws to disclosed shared facilities or shared equipment. (And note that there is a difference. Shared equipment is like someone else in your kitchen using your stainless steel pot - which can be well cleaned - to cook something with gluten in it. Shared facilities means that someone brought a sandwich into your house and ate it somewhere, even if not the kitchen.)

Label laws are helpful, but only so much so. You have to read them with your brain on, and determine for yourself if something that you thought was gluten free turned out to give you glutening symptoms. That can be hard, though, because glutening symptoms can overlap with other things - mild food poisoning, digestive distress from another intolerance, and something just "not sitting right".

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Wow, it sounds like label laws are completely worthless then. Why have wheat be mandatory but other gluten grains not? This makes no sense since it's the gluten in the grains that makes you sick not the grain itself.

Is there anything being done to try and get all gluten grains listed as well as any cross contimation issues listed? Really why have label laws if they are not going to do any good?

Are laws for allergies such as peanuts the same where the offending allergen can potentially kill you or do peanuts have to be disclosed even if its shared equipment?

So how likely is it that lays chips are cross contaminated? What a bummer.

Is there any normal brand of potato chips that won't have cross contamination issues? I don't want to go spend 5 bucks for 3 chips at the whole foods store.

This basically means that you have to call every single company of every single item you eat. LAME LAME LAME

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srthomas, believe me the allergen law is NOT useless. Before the U.S. was required to list the top 8 allergens, life was MUCH tougher for people with celiac. Hidden wheat was the main problem in more than 95 percent of cases. Rye is never hidden and most of the time barley is listed as malt. Celiac organizations DID lobby to have all gluten listed, but eventually realized the top 8 allergens was what could be accomplished. It was a good compromise. Soon, we'll have a gluten-free standard as part of that deal.

Yes, in a perfect world all gluten would be clearly labeled and companies would never process in a facility with gluten and the gluten-free standard would be zero ppm. Ain't going to happen. But what we have now is so much better than when I was diagnosed more than 8 years ago.

richard

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srthomas, believe me the allergen law is NOT useless. Before the U.S. was required to list the top 8 allergens, life was MUCH tougher for people with celiac. Hidden wheat was the main problem in more than 95 percent of cases. Rye is never hidden and most of the time barley is listed as malt. Celiac organizations DID lobby to have all gluten listed, but eventually realized the top 8 allergens was what could be accomplished. It was a good compromise. Soon, we'll have a gluten-free standard as part of that deal.

Yes, in a perfect world all gluten would be clearly labeled and companies would never process in a facility with gluten and the gluten-free standard would be zero ppm. Ain't going to happen. But what we have now is so much better than when I was diagnosed more than 8 years ago.

richard

I do have to agree with Richard. In the past five years since I was diagnosed, GREAT progress has been made to make my life easier and YOURS.

Look toward the future. Request fairness. Some things in life are trial and error. Don't ask the world to dance circles around you. Learn what you can and share it with those who are like you. Everything is not a fight. Life is simple, don't complicate it.

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Wow, it sounds like label laws are completely worthless then. Why have wheat be mandatory but other gluten grains not? This makes no sense since it's the gluten in the grains that makes you sick not the grain itself.

Is there anything being done to try and get all gluten grains listed as well as any cross contimation issues listed? Really why have label laws if they are not going to do any good?

Are laws for allergies such as peanuts the same where the offending allergen can potentially kill you or do peanuts have to be disclosed even if its shared equipment?

I agree our labeling regs leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully eventually the law will demand full disclosure of gluten ingredients and cc risks. I get tired of having to call companies. I will say it has gotten much, much better though. The best thing we as individuals can do is write to the FDA and make our needs known. Diagnosis is getting better and as our numbers increase companies will make things clearer many perhaps on their own. As some already do. After all each 800 number we have to dial to check on CC issues or hidden barley as a 'natural flavor' costs a company money.

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Wow, it sounds like label laws are completely worthless then. Why have wheat be mandatory but other gluten grains not? This makes no sense since it's the gluten in the grains that makes you sick not the grain itself.

Because the label law is not for gluten or celiacs, it is for people with a wheat allergy. The label law is for the top 8 allergens, of which gluten is not one.

We just happened to luck out since wheat is one of the foods we have to avoid.

I actually think it's great. Wheat is the most common source of gluten. We still have to watch out for barley, rye, and CC, but at least wheat as an ingredient is very clear cut now. Imagine if wheat wasn't listed!

That's not to say it would be great if gluten is someday included in the label law!

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The list I got from my dietician shows and astric* beside Ruffles potato chips and frito's meaning they are produced in a plant that also produces wheat. Thus runs risk of cross contamination. I have found that the UTZ brand say gluten free and not certain but think also it is a dedicated facility thats gluten-free. Read the Utz brand potato chip bag carefully for yourself.

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i'm fairly new at all of the detective work we have to do and appreciate this topic, but i'm still confused. to me it seems like it truly isn't gluten free if it is produced in a setting that also makes gluten containing products ... regardless of "cleaning between batches" occurs because companies are still trying to watch their backs and say "*but* there might be some residue on there that *could* cross contaminate." i've been trying to print out lists that i can keep in my bag when i go shopping and check out labels. i also call the manufactuer right in the store aisle (did that yesterday for hand lotion and i still get the "we can't garauntee speech". once again i find myself wondering if i can totally and completely heal by staying away from gluten. why are they allowed to claim something that isn't true. i know the impact gluten has had on my daily life and i don't ever want to ingest it again.

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My latest frustration with the label laws involves a product actually labeled gluten-free. It was brown rice syrup from NOW Foods. Nowhere was there anything about barley enzymes being used in processing. They get away with this just because of the <20ppm thing. I can understand if someone chooses to consume a product, knowing there's a risk, but what about the unsuspecting? I very politely told the company that they should either disclose the enzyme source, or not claim gluten-free. There entire reply was just four words: "Thanks for your input.". <_<

I don't think they care, because the law is on their side. Gluten-free should mean gluten-free, as in no gluten sources used. The CC issue is separate, and I agree that it would be nice if they at least acknowledge possible CC. However, I think it's even better, and more reassuring, when a product can bear the words "processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility".

So, just as the law doesn't require GMOs to be listed, and companies who don't use them often say no GMOs, I think that's how it will have to be with gluten. The law is behind the curve, and the consumer. I guess we'll just have to keep screaming until companies hear us, and follow through.

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I'm new to this, and I don't competely understand the issue of cross contamination. At first, I wasn't conscious of avoiding foods that were produced on equipment with wheat because I didn't know such small amounts of gluten could be harmful. My health is improving, but there are times when some of my symptoms come back. I've noticed that it seems to happen when I go out to eat or eat packaged foods/sauces/chocolate. I mostly eat/cook meat, veggies, olive oil, fresh spices, fruit, almond milk and I have found one brand of gluten free products (glutino) that i like and doesn't hurt my body. I get frustrated by getting sick nearly everytime i go out to eat. i've noticed that i don't get sick if i go to a very nice restaurant and tell the server i'm gluten free. In those restaurants I eat food that is very much like the foods I cook at home (meat, veggies, homemade sauces). I can't afford to do that all the time though... the tab for me alone in a restaurant like that is at least 30 dollars. Does anyone have tips on eating out and avoiding cross contamination? I'd love to be able to go out for lunch and have something other than a salad without getting sick from it.

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eating out in restaurants can be tricky. You HAVE to talk to your server, and if possible, the cook as well and have them check labels on EVERYTHING. If you're going to a chain restaurant, check their website before you go. Most of them list ingredients on their websites.

For instance, there is not one single fast food place where the chicken will be safe to eat. NONE. Not even the grilled chicken. Why? Because they inject the chicken with all sorts of garbage so that it's nice and juicy, including gluten containing ingredients. Some hamburger places will use bread crumbs in their burgers, some don't. If you eat anything that is deep fried, then it'll be cross contaminated because the same fryer has coated/breaded chicken pieces in it. Pancake restaurants also put pancake batter in their scrambled eggs and omlettes, but that isn't listed on the menu! Not to mention they're fried on the same griddle as the pancakes.

Don't be afraid to ask questions when you sit down in a restaurant. They don't want you to get sick from their food anymore than you want to get sick!

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For instance, there is not one single fast food place where the chicken will be safe to eat. NONE. Not even the grilled chicken. Why? Because they inject the chicken with all sorts of garbage so that it's nice and juicy, including gluten containing ingredients.

You can believe that if you want, but I don't. I would believe specific evidence of a named establishment and the exact source of the alleged gluten.

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So even tho something says it has "natural flavour" it can still contail barley??? So we have to call the company every time something has a natural flavour listed???

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So even tho something says it has "natural flavour" it can still contail barley??? So we have to call the company every time something has a natural flavour listed???

It's a good idea until you get to know what companies will fully disclose it. In the US Kraft and Unilever are two companies that will not hide gluten in the flavorings. If for example barley is used they will say so.

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"For instance, there is not one single fast food place where the chicken will be safe to eat. NONE. Not even the grilled chicken. Why? Because they inject the chicken with all sorts of garbage so that it's nice and juicy, including gluten containing ingredients. Some hamburger places will use bread crumbs in their burgers, some don't. If you eat anything that is deep fried, then it'll be cross contaminated because the same fryer has coated/breaded chicken pieces in it. Pancake restaurants also put pancake batter in their scrambled eggs and omlettes, but that isn't listed on the menu! Not to mention they're fried on the same griddle as the pancakes."

I'm sorry but there's a lot of misinformation in here. I don't know of a single fast food place that "injects" gluten into their chicken. In fact, I don't know of a single chicken that has gluten in its flavorings or broth. If you know of one, please name the brand or restaurant.

I don't know of a single brand-name fast food or chain place that puts bread crumbs in its hamburger. I'm certain there ARE local restaurants that do that, but it's very, very rare.

Not all deep-fried stuff is cross contaminated, although you definitely need to ask. McD fries are in dedicated fryers. Same with Chik fil a and almost all Wendys.

IHOP does indeed put pancake batter in its omelets (you an get an omelet without the batter) but Waffle House doesn't. And last time I checked neither one cooked pancakes and omelets in the same place. Omelets HAVE to be cooked in a pan, not on the griddle.

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