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It's Official, Gluten Must Be Labelled!
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This is the latest news as of today:

New Health Canada rules expand food labels to specify allergens, gluten

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 02/14/2011 10:38 AM | Comments: 0 | Last Modified: 02/14/2011 1:42 PM

OTTAWA - New labelling rules will give consumers more detailed information about the presence of allergens, gluten and sulphites in food and drink, Health Canada said Monday.

The department said the new labels will require manufacturers to clearly list the presence of such substances.

The rules will require a listing of allergens in smaller components of the product, as well.

For example, if a product includes spices, the label must declare if the spices contain allergens or gluten.

Milk, egg or fish products used to purify wines or spirits must also be listed on the label.

Beer, ale, stout, porter and malt liquor are exempt from the new labelling rules.

The new requirements will be phased in over 18 months to give manufacturers time to comply.

The regulations require the use of plain words, such as wheat or milk.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says the changes are particularly aimed at protecting children.

"These changes to food labels will make it easier for parents of children with food allergies to identify potentially harmful, if not fatal, ingredients in foods," she said in a statement.

Health Canada estimates that five to six per cent of young children and three to four per cent of adults suffer from food allergies.

Nearly one per cent of the population is affected by celiac disease. These people can suffer long-term complications from eating foods which contain gluten.

The exemption for beer came after hard lobbying from brewers, who argued that celiac sufferers already know that beer is made from grain. They also said tougher label requirements would be costly for small brewers.

Health Canada said it wants to work on the brewers' concerns. But rather than delaying the regulations, it was decided to exempt beer, at least for the time being.

"Any additional amendments dealing with enhanced labelling of beer will be dealt with once further consultations and discussions can be held," the department said.

Anaphylaxis Canada, a support and advocacy group for people with severe allergies, welcomed the new rules, but expressed disappointment with the exemption for beer.

"Allowing a last-minute exemption for the brewery industry

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This is great news and hopefully the US will soon do the same.

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Good news for the Canadians indeed!

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I'm so angry at the ignorance of people out there who have obviously never had to deal with food allergies or intolerances or Celiac. I'm thrilled about these new requirements and participated in a letter writing campaign to get our government to take action. But reading some of the comments posted in response to various news articles about these new laws just makes me so angry.

Comments like these:

Please grow up and take responsibility for your own health! If you have a potential allergy then educate yourself to that allergy! Do not put the responsibility of your health on somebody else. It is time North Americans took on more of their fair share of the responsibility than everybody else. We are becoming a society of "not my fault"!

Or this one:

who cares , this again is the small interest group who has nothing better to do than make other people suffer because the can't eat certain foods.i cant have a peanut butter sandwich because one pearson is allerigic to it . And the media reporting this shows that they have nothing better to report on . Wake up people get a life

And this:

i don't need a label to tell me not to. but for gluten? OMG What the hell did they think it was made of? Will bread now require gluten warnings as well? how about a bag of flour? How about we just tattoo STUPID across the foreheads of these people so the rest of us can be warned?

And this:

This crap about allergies is being carried to ridiculous levels. I suppose a loaf of bread will now have to indicate that it has gluten, a jug of milk will now have indicate that it has lactose. It seems now that everyone who has gas now is running around saying they have lactose or gluten allergies. We have a society of hypochondriac whinners.

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I'm not completely sure about "spices" in the US, but in Canada "spices" can not include anything derived from a grain--spices are gluten-free.

"Seasonings" is a horse of another color, and many people, including some who should know better, confuse seasonings with spices. I certainly don't expect the news media to know the difference.

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People are shocked that my kids 8 and 11 years old ask to read the food labels for themselves because they can not trust most adults to know what gluten is. :lol:

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I'm so angry at the ignorance of people out there who have obviously never had to deal with food allergies or intolerances or Celiac. I'm thrilled about these new requirements and participated in a letter writing campaign to get our government to take action. But reading some of the comments posted in response to various news articles about these new laws just makes me so angry.

Comments like these:

Please grow up and take responsibility for your own health! If you have a potential allergy then educate yourself to that allergy! Do not put the responsibility of your health on somebody else. It is time North Americans took on more of their fair share of the responsibility than everybody else. We are becoming a society of "not my fault"!

Or this one:

who cares , this again is the small interest group who has nothing better to do than make other people suffer because the can't eat certain foods.i cant have a peanut butter sandwich because one pearson is allerigic to it . And the media reporting this shows that they have nothing better to report on . Wake up people get a life

And this:

i don't need a label to tell me not to. but for gluten? OMG What the hell did they think it was made of? Will bread now require gluten warnings as well? how about a bag of flour? How about we just tattoo STUPID across the foreheads of these people so the rest of us can be warned?

And this:

This crap about allergies is being carried to ridiculous levels. I suppose a loaf of bread will now have to indicate that it has gluten, a jug of milk will now have indicate that it has lactose. It seems now that everyone who has gas now is running around saying they have lactose or gluten allergies. We have a society of hypochondriac whinners.

Grrr. The one about taking responsibility PIZZES me off. We AREt rying to take responsibility and all we are asking is to LABEL THE STINKING products!!! Don't ban them, don't need to segregate them in the store, please just let us read what is in the product. This shouldn't be too hard, the manufacturer should KNOW already. And if they don't, do you really want to eat ANYTHING they are providing?

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Yay Canada! I only wish they had less time to change over. 18 months seems like too long.

All of those stupid comments really infuriated me tonight. I can't believe people are that ingnorant!!!

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Adab8ca, those are some ridiculous comments, wow! But sadly, it does not shock me. I always get people assuming that 'gluten intolerance' and 'wheat allergy' and the same thing. And still constantly hear that "a little won't hurt". People don't realize how hard being a Celiac is!

I also agree that I wish it wouldn't take as long as 18 months, though I have noticed lately a LOT more Canadian-made products being labeled as gluten-free already.

Really hope for you guys in the U.S. that this eventually makes its way there, too. You deserve it as much as we do!

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I'm not completely sure about "spices" in the US, but in Canada "spices" can not include anything derived from a grain--spices are gluten-free.

"Seasonings" is a horse of another color, and many people, including some who should know better, confuse seasonings with spices. I certainly don't expect the news media to know the difference.

Again Peter this is good to know I was told that anything that said spices was potentially not safe. I've been researching specific brands to find out if they are gluten free. Knowing this makes things much more simple.

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Congratulations, Canadians !

Felicitations, Canadiens !

Help Me, I bet at least half of those foodie trolls were actually lobbyist and industry staffers in the United States with multiple sock puppets working the internet, intent on keeping public sentiment down here in the boondocks ignorant, so the great unwashed won't expect our US FDA to actually do anything.

"taking responsibility" pet phrase of one of the political parties down here which does anything BUT. Not only does some gluten continue to be hidden, we are still locked in a battle to stop GMO's from infesting everything, as the GMO sugar beets and alfalfa are now going to be approved, which messed up organic feed for animals.

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Just another reason why I would like to move to Canada. You all rock.

And another reason to make me proud to be Canadian! :D Cannot wait for next August...

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This is definitely one more reason why Canada is awesome...

But it's worth pointing out that beer still won't be labeled as containing gluten -- the industry was able to get an exception.

You can read more about it here, I mention it just in case anyone gets lulled into a false sense of security because of all the other foods/drinks that are getting proper labels.

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It feels like eventually everyone will know someone who is gluten challenged or.. like myself.. will manifest the problem themselves as they age. Then they will need the education and it will matter. Best to ignore STUPID PEOPLE!!! <_< Did I say that outloud??

I was talking to a prairie farmer about GMOs and wheat and he stated that Canadian farmers do not seed GM wheat.. that is a US thing. That doesn't eliminate the many products that come from the south that have GM wheat but.. since we (gluten free) don't eat it :) .. but everyone else does (friends.. family...humans...pets).. :(

Just did a little research.. maybe Canada doesn't see GMO wheat but they sure produce an awful lot of GM crops of various kinds... very discouraging to see how much it's promoted. :(

I hope I didn't sound like I was pointing a finger because that would be 3 pointing back at Canada... Sk has LOTS of genetic reseach going on at the University here... :( I used to think it was such a good thing.

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I used to work for Organic Crop Improvement Association, a certifying body (international). I was appalled to see how much GM stuff was seeded (was living in Sask - I've lived in Sask all my life until a few years ago when moved to Alberta). It was very, very interesting. I'm a Master Gardener, too, so am concerned from that perspective as well.

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