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Found 38 results

  1. Celiac.com 06/22/2012 - More and more, manufacturers are putting gluten-free labels on nonfood items such as vitamins and creams, lotions and other products absorbed by the skin. Recently, there's been a an increase of nearly 50% in body care products labeled "gluten-free" and certified as gluten-free, according to Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. Kupper was a featured speaker at “The Gluten Free Movement Within Specialty Foods" webinar hosted by The National Association of Specialty Food Trade. Many people who are gluten-sensitive suffer adverse reactions when using products that contain wheat and gluten. “If I were to wash my hands in wheat germ oil, they’d turn red and get itchy and blotchy,” says C.A. Diltz, who heads up gluten-free programs at Dorothy Lane Market here and is gluten sensitive herself. Diltz likes gluten-free health and beauty brand Keys and its all-natural moisturizer, shampoo and antibiotic hand soap to avoid skin irritation and problems related to accidental ingestion. This is a welcome development for many people with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance, as symptoms of a gluten reaction often manifest in the skin, and many people who avoid gluten are sensitive to gluten in products that are applied to the skin. Prescription medication can also be problematic, since fillers may contain wheat and/or gluten. To that end, the FDA has launched an assessment of drugs and drug manufacturers to determine which drugs contain gluten, and whether many of these can be reformulated to be gluten-free. Next month, a compounding pharmacist from Clark’s pharmacy, Huber Heights, Ohio, will address the issue at DLM’s Gluten-Free Food Lover’s Club support group meeting. At that same meeting, pharmacist Robyn Crow will help answer the question: “Are Allergen-Free Compounded Prescriptions Best For You?” Source: http://supermarketnews.com/nonfood/more-nonfoods-labeled-gluten-free
  2. Celiac.com 06/05/2012 - Even though public awareness of celiac disease is growing thanks to the recent surge in popularity of gluten-free dieting, gluten-free is still an uncontrolled term. The FDA proposed a < 20ppm gluten rule for gluten-free labeling in 2007 and reopened the proposed rule for comment last August, but many feel that too little is being done too slowly to control labeling of gluten content in foods. In a move that is raising some eyebrows, Tim Lawson, a sufferer of celiac disease and CEO and founder of New Grains Gluten Free Bakery is suing Utah Senator Orrin Hatch for obstructing FDA progress on the issue. Lawson, who feels the plight of the roughly nine million celiac disease sufferers in America, asserts that more funding should be allocated to expedite the FDA's regulation process of gluten-free labeling. Whether or not his concern is valid, it is doubtful that such a lawsuit will hold up in court. Lawson is essentially suing senator Hatch for refusing to exert his influence to raise funds for the FDA. Hatch is certainly not the only senator guilty of such inaction, so it is unclear why Lawson would single him out. According to Hatch's spokesman, Matthew Harakal, “... there is no legitimate cause of action against a legislator for failing to appropriate taxpayer dollars to address any one constituent's specific, individual desires.” Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah also comments, “Anybody could allege that, as a result of a member of Congress not voting one particular way they've then suffered some kind of adverse effect...” It is hard to hold Hatch liable for any hardship suffered by celiacs when, as Cassell suggests, literally every action taken by any American senator works against the favor of some group or another. At the very least though, Lawson is making it known that he, and many celiac disease sufferers are unhappy with how gluten-free labeling is currently handled in America. Even if it is doubtful that he will win his lawsuit, he has likely gotten Hatch's attention, and sometimes that is all it takes to get things done. Source: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/54142724-90/disease-dying-fda-free.html.csp
  3. Celiac.com 10/28/2011 - The world's largest gluten-free cake, weighing nearly a ton, debuted in Washington, DC. Gluten-free labeling advocate John Forberger presented the 9-layer gluten-free behemoth as part of his efforts to push the FDA to deliver long-promised gluten-free labeling standards. The cake debuted as part of an effort to promote the Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit in Washington DC. The event included a representative of the FDA and Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who sponsored the original Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, as well as the world’s largest gluten-free cake, all nine layers of it. In addition to raising general awareness of gluten-free issues, the giant cake was a reaction to failure on the part of the FDA to issue labeling standard for gluten-free foods and products. Under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act the FDA was charged with creating standards for gluten-free labeling. FDA officials were ordered to make their recommendations to Congress in 2008. As of 2011, the FDA had made no recommendations on gluten-free labeling standards. Labeling is important, Forberger says, because buying gluten-free food is, for many people "a medical necessity, and until there’s a cure for celiac disease, eating foods free of gluten is the only treatment." Forberger has what is diagnosed as “an extreme gluten intolerance,” where ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, triggers chronic pancreatitis so severe that gluten reactions have hospitalized Forberger more than a dozen times. Even though there are many good, reliable manufacturers, "providing delicious gluten-free options, the industry is a self-regulating one . . . anyone can slap the words ‘gluten-free’ on a product and charge a premium, " he says. Prompted in part by this perceived failure by the FDA, Forberger teamed with author and celiac expert Jules Shepard to form 1in133, a nonprofit that aims to push the FDA to comply with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. The group’s name comes from the statistic from the Celiac Disease Foundation that 1 in every 133 people has the disease. Together, they crafted the idea that became the world's largest gluten-free cake. To promote their effort, Forberger and Shepard teamed with the American Celiac Disease Alliance to send 5,000 letters to the FDA calling for prompt establishment of standardized gluten-free labeling. They also initiated an online petition with the same message that has gathered more than 10,000 supporters. Gluten Free Food Labeling Summitt in Washington DC. The event included a representative of the FDA and Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who sponsored the original Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, as well as the world’s largest gluten-free cake, all nine layers of it. The summit and petition campaign appear to have worked. In August, the FDA announced that it would again invite public comments on gluten-free labeling with the goal of creating a uniform and enforceable definition by summer or fall of 2012. Source: http://news.rutgers.edu/focus/issue.2011-09-01.8807267282/article.2011-09-22.8756737280
  4. Celiac.com 11/19/2008 - In a development that could benefit people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, a team of researchers based in Spain and the U.K. has developed a faster, easier way to test food products for the protein that triggers the adverse reactions associated with celiac disease. Such a rapid gluten detection test for food products could help millions of people avoid the indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, and other symptoms that arise when they accidentally consume foods that contain gluten. The research team was made up of Alex Fragoso, Ciara O'Sullivan and other colleagues, and their results will appear in the December 15 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry. Their development centers on the creation of a new sensor that detects antibodies to the protein gliadin, a component of the gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. Laboratory tests showed that the new sensor is both highly accurate and far faster than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which is the current standard test for gliadin. The new test can detect gliadin in amounts as small as the parts per billion range, while an ELISA test requires a full 8 hours to do the same thing. Avoiding gluten enables people with celiac disease to avoid symptoms commonly associated with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. However, since gluten can hide in so many seemingly safe foods, such as soy sauce, canned soups, and licorice candy, it can be difficult to know for certain whether foods are in fact free of gluten free. A number of prepared foods clearly list gluten ingredients on their labels, but spotting its presence can be challenging at best, and is often outright hit or miss. A rapid, highly accurate test that can reliably spot gluten in food products promises to make it easier for manufacturers to label their products, and for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance to avoid gluten and thereby enjoy better health.
  5. Celiac.com 03/07/2007 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed the following rule regarding the labeling of foods as "Gluten-Free (gluten-free). The rule appears in the Federal Register, Docket No. 2005N-0279, titled Food-Labeling: Gluten Free Labeling of Foods," and includes a definition of the term "gluten-free." There is no current Federal regulation to define the term "gluten-free" for labeling food. By clearly defining the term the FDA seeks to help those with celiac disease, along with their caregivers, to better identify packaged foods that are safe for consumption. The FDA proposes to set the standard acceptable gluten level for products labeled "gluten-free" at no greater than 20 parts of gluten per million. More specifically, the FDA proposes that the term "gluten-free" on food labels will apply to food that is free of any or all of the following: "Prohibited grains," meaning any species of wheat (e.g., durum wheat, spelt wheat, or kamut), rye, barley or their hybrids; Ingredients derived from "prohibited grains," (e.g., wheat flour), that have not been treated to remove gluten. Ingredients derived from "prohibited grains," (e.g., wheat flour), that HAVE been treated to remove gluten, but which results in 20 ppm (parts per million) or more of gluten per gram of food. 20 ppm or more of gluten per gram of food. Foods that are labeled "gluten-free," or claim to be "free of gluten," without gluten, or to contain no gluten," and which fail to meet the terms of the proposed definition of "gluten-free" would be designated as "misbranded." One aspect of the FDA rules that seems to have caused some confusion concerns the status of oats. One recent posting making the rounds among celiac support groups claims that page 2798 of the Federal Register states: that None of the four U.S. celiac associations that responded to the survey considered oats to be an acceptable food for individuals with celiac disease. This quotation is from an April 2000 article by Tricia Thompson, titled: Questionable food and the gluten-free diet: Survey of Current Recommendations. However, page 2798 of the Federal Register actually states the CURRENT positions held by the organizations: According to more recent position statements of 3 of the 4 major celiac associations in the United States that responded to the earlier survey conducted by Thompson (Ref. 57), one of these associations continues to take the position that oats are not an acceptable food for individuals with celiac disease; but, the other two of these associations are not opposed to the inclusion of oats in the diets of individuals with celiac disease, provided that the oats do not contain gluten from other grains and that the daily amount of oats consumed is limited to 1 cup cooked (Ref. 56)." The FDA held an initial public comment meeting for "gluten-free" food labeling in August 2005. Comments received during this meeting, coupled with other information compiled by the FDA, indicate that there is no consensus among either consumers or U.S. food manufacturers as to the nature of foods labeled "gluten-free." The FDA feels strongly that the establishment of clear definitions of "gluten-free," and of uniform guidelines for applying the term in labeling foods, will enable persons with celiac to obtain accurate and truthful information about the foods they purchase, and help to make sure they avoid the adverse health affects that can come consuming food that is mislabeled. For more information the FDA has prepared a document titled: Questions and Answers on the Gluten-Free Labeling Proposed Rule" The document is available for review through the following web-link: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/glutqa.html. Act Now! There is a 90-day public comment period for the proposed rule. Submit your comments by April 23, 2007 by clicking here, or comments can also be submit it in writing to the Division of Dockets Management, Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, (HFA-305) Rockville, MD 20852. Celiac.com supports the FDA proposals, and encourages those with celiac disease and their supporters, to review the FDA document and to share your comments in support of these standards.
  6. Celiac.com 03/16/2004 - The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed S. 741, which includes the Food Allergen Labeling and Protection Act. The key labeling provisions are: Require that food ingredient statements identify in everyday terminology that an ingredient is itself, or derived from, the top eight food allergens -- peanuts, tree nuts, fish, Crustacean shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, and wheat; Require food ingredient statements to identify food allergens used in spices, natural or artificial flavorings, additives, and colorings; Require all foods to be re-labeled by January 1, 2006; Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a rule defining the term gluten-free and permitting use of the term on food labeling, and; Require a final rule regarding the voluntary use of gluten-free on food labels be issued not later than four years after this bill becomes law. This historic, bipartisan vote, sends a LOUD and clear message to the House of Representatives -- its time to fix food labels. Thank you for all your work to bring the celiac community to this point. Scream and shout today, tomorrow we tackle the House of Representatives. -American Celiac Task Force
  7. Celiac.com 09/01/2005 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting to obtain expert comment and consultation from the public to help them define and permit the voluntary use on food labeling of the term ``gluten-free. The meeting will focus on food manufacturing, analytical methods, and consumer issues related to reduced levels of gluten in food. Celiac.com needs your help to speak out to make sure that this regulation will be written in such a way as to provide the greatest benefit to the gluten-free community, and to make sure that the new regulation will not create an undue burden on any exiting and future gluten-free food manufacturers. To have an influence on this process please Click Here and send your comments no later than September 19, 2005. If you feel the same way as us feel free to cut and paste the following letter into the comments area of this form: Dear FDA: We encourage you to adopt a regulation on the use of gluten-free on product labels that is in line with that which has been used in Europe and other countries (including the USA via the Codex Alimentarius) for many years--20 PPM for products that contain naturally gluten-free ingredients, and 200 PPM for products that have been rendered gluten-free such as those that may contain Codex Alimentarius quality wheat starch. The formal adoption of these existing regulations will allow for the continued importation of excellent, safe European products that are labeled gluten-free. It is very important that you do not adopt a zero tolerance regulation in this matter because doing so will cause many gluten-free food companies to discontinue their use of the term gluten-free on their labels out of fear of litigation--which is counterproductive for all people with this disease (most, if not all, gluten-free food companies do not grow, transport or mill the gluten-free grains that they use as ingredients--a fact that will make them vulnerable to litigation if a zero tolerance level is adopted). Last, the inclusion of trace levels of gluten in the diets of those with celiac disease have been shown to be safe in many scientific studies, for more details please see: http://www.celiac.com Thank you, Your Name
  8. Celiac.com 07/21/2004 - Tonight the U.S. House of Representatives, under the leadership of Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (S. 741). This landmark legislation will require the top 8 food allergens [milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy] to be listed on food labels by January 1, 2006. The bill also requires the FDA to develop rules for the use of the term gluten-free on product labels by January 2008. The One Voice of the Celiac Community has been heard ! American Celiac Task Force actf@fogworks.net
  9. 03/30/2004 - In an election year, Congress has fewer days is session, and focuses on issues which will help get members re-elected. 2004 is a big election year! Food labeling affects millions of Americans, and an issue which both sides can claim credit for. By passing S. 741 earlier this month, the Senate gave us much needed time to move the bill (or H.R. 3684) through the House. The process starts at the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, then moves to the full committee, before going to the House floor. With a short session, it is crucial that committee approval happen before Memorial Day. The following states have members on the Energy and Commerce Committee (or its Health Subcommittee): California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming. If you live in any of these states, or have family or friends in any of these States, please go to www.capwiz.com/celiac enter your zip code, and send an e-letter asking your Representative to vote for the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Or, call the local office of your lawmaker, and urge his or her support for S. 741 or HR 3684. Call Congress Toll-Free -- Pass HR 3684 in 2004! For those who have sent letters, or who want to do something more personal, how about making a toll-free call to your Representative. Call (800) 985-8762 OR (800) 839-5276 to reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard. Ask to speak to your Member of Congress. If you dont know who that person is, go to www.capwiz.com/celiac and enter your zip code. When you reach the Representatives office, ask to speak to the Health Legislative Assistant. Tell the staffer you want the Members support for H.R. 3684, the "Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act" (FALCPA) Explain why the bill is important to you. Be sure to mention the FDA supports this legislation! It has already issued 2 press releases supporting the Senate version (incorporated in S. 741). You can note that companies will have to re-label products by Jan. 2006, in order to comply with the new rules on trans-fats. It will save $$ to do all re-labeling at one time. Finally, a number of food manufacturers have told us they support the bill because it will save them money in customer service calls. Push the House -- Pass H.R. 3684 in 2004! If you need our help, let us know. Andrea Levario and Allison Herwitt Co-Chairs, American Celiac Task Force Internet: www.celiaccenter.org/taskforce.asp E-mail: actf@fogworks.net
  10. Celiac.com 12/19/2003 - In a press release dated November 24, 2003, FDA Commissioner, Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., applauded the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee reporting out several health-related bills. Among the bills unanimously approved by the Committee was S. 741, a bill that includes the proposed Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. Action by the Committee took place on November 21. I wish to thank the Committee Chairman Senator Judd Gregg, Ranking Member Senator Edward Kennedy and the rest of the Committee members for taking these actions, Dr. McClellan said, and I look forward to continuing to work with the members of both houses of Congress toward the enactment of these bills. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act will provide improved food labeling to better inform consumers who suffer from food allergies. Having the endorsement of the FDA will be key as we look ahead to floor action by the full Senate in early 2004. Andrea Levario Co-Chair, American Celiac Task Force
  11. Celiac.com 11/25/2003 - On Friday, November 21, 2003, the Senate HELP Committee took a major step toward improving the nations food labeling laws. The Committee, led by Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), unanimously passed legislation requiring the top 8 allergens -- peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soybeans, shellfish, fish, and wheat -- to be listed on food labels by their common or usual name, or by source of the ingredient. The measure also requires the Secretary of HHS to develop rules for the use of the term gluten-free on food labels. The "Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2003" is now Title II of S. 741. Todays action by the HELP Committee demonstrates that our unified efforts are making a difference. The SINGLE voice of the celiac community was heard, and taken seriously. All of us deserve credit for getting this far. Next up, the Senate Floor. Thanks for your help, Andrea Levario and Allison Herwitt Co-Chairs, Legislative Project American Celiac Task Force http://www.celiaccenter.org/taskforce.asp E-mail: actf@fogworks.net
  12. (Celiac.com 03/17/2000) Under the new FDA rules (effective in 2000), consumers will get more information about the sources of protein hydrolysates in their food. Hydrolyzed proteins are added to foods to serve various functions, including thickeners, flavorings and flavor enhancers, and they pose a major problem for people on special diets. From now on food makers will have to declare the source of added hydrolyzed proteins. The new laws state that the source of all protein hydrolysates--regardless of use--will now have to be identified. Further, caseinate will have to be identified as a milk derivative in the ingredient statement when its used in foods that claim to be non-dairy. According to the FDA these new requirements will help people who have special diet restrictions.
  13. The following letter was prepared by Nancy of the Gluten Intolerance Group in Seattle, WA: Directions: Find your representatives e-mail addresses at: http://www.house.gov/writerep/. Highlight the letter below with your mouse. Copy (Control-C) it to your notepad. Paste it (Control-V) into an e-mail to them, or into the e-mail form at the site above. Representative or Senator Address Honorable (Senator) Or Distinguished (Representative) I urge you to cosponsor the legislation that Representative Nita Lowey and Senator Edward Kennedy will introduce to tighten the regulation of food-allergens. Millions of Americans have food allergies, and each year about 150 people in the United States die from anaphylactic shock caused by a food allergy. Metabolic disorders, such as gluten intolerance, also require careful and strict elimination of certain foods from a persons diet to maintain normal health. Over 1.3 million people in the USA suffer from gluten intolerance, which requires strict elimination of wheat, rye and barley from the diet. A 2000 survey conducted jointly by the Food and Drug Administration, Minnesota, and Wisconsin found that one-quarter of the bakery products, candy, and ice cream sampled were contaminated with peanut or egg ingredients that were not declared on the product labels. Undeclared allergens may cause immediate reactions, or slow destruction of the intestine and long-term health complications associated with malnutrition. Representative Lowey has said that the legislation would require companies to list the major allergens (including those in spices, flavorings, and colorings) by their common English names and to include a telephone number on the label that consumers could call for more information. The legislation would also require manufacturers to better prevent cross-contact between products made in the same facility or on the same production line, allow the Food and Drug Administration to assess penalties against firms that violate the food allergen requirements, and require the Centers for Disease Control to establish a system for tracking food allergy-related deaths. In addition, Congress should also require companies to indicate on labels that the food may contain allergens when the possibility of contamination cannot be totally excluded. Rye and barley must be included in the list of allergens declared on labels. This addition will better serve all persons with allergies and intolerances. I urge you to cosponsor this important public health legislation, with the above-recommended addition. Sincerely,
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