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  1. Celiac.com 10/19/2015 - People who must avoid gluten for medical reasons just got a reason to be hopeful that gluten in medicines, which are not regulated under the current FDA law, might soon be labeled by law. U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) recently introduced a bill to make it easier for people with gluten-related disorders to identify medications that contain gluten. Their bill, the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2015 would change the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act so that the label of any medicine intended for human use must divulge any ingredient, besides sugar alcohol, that is derived from a grain or contains gluten. The bill is intended to help people with Celiac disease avoid gluten. "Americans deserve to know what is in their food and drugs," agreed Lowey. "Providing uniform standards for food and drug labeling will make a world of difference to the quality of life for people with celiac disease. People want medicine labels to provide "the information they need to protect their health and wellbeing," Ryan added. Keep an eye on congress to see how this proceeds, and check back with celiac.com to follow progress on this important issue. Source: CBS News
  2. Celiac.com 05/25/2004 - On April 27, 2004, for the first time, individuals with Celiac Disease testified before a Congressional Committee. Lisa Murphy, and her son, Colin, represented the ACTF before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education. They did an outstanding job outlining what celiac disease is, who it affects, the need for NIDDK to develop a research plan for celiac disease, as well as the need for greater physician and patient education (The Murphy family, of Chappaqua, NY, was featured in a Feb. 2004 Parents magazine article about celiac disease). The Labor-HHS Subcommittee determines how much money NIH receives each year. Having individuals with Celiac Disease provide information about the disease is critical to securing funding for research. After hearing the testimony, Subcommittee Chairman, Ralph Regula (R-OH), asked if food labels were a problem for celiacs. Not missing a beat, Lisa offered an emphatic, Yes, then highlighted problems she has encountered. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), sponsor of H.R. 3684, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, and member of the Subcommittee, explained the bill was drafted to help individuals like Lisa, and Colin. The celiac community has waited a very long time for this incredible opportunity. The American Celiac Task Force is grateful to the entire Murphy family for graciously agreeing toshare their story, and for helping to make this historic day possible. Allison Herwitt Co-Chair, Legislative Project American Celiac Task Force
  3. 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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