I know you have seen me in the grocery isles -
I am the mom standing there in my yoga pants, sweat shirt and baseball hat (because, once again I did not have time to take a shower yet),
scanning the label of the processed food item I want to buy,
cell phone to my ear,
impatiently tapping my foot on the floor as I am "on hold" waiting for a customer service representative to hopefully confirm,
if the product I have in my hand is truly (by that I mean contains less than 20 ppm) gluten free or not.
BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
You can make a difference by signing the petition to President Obama to finalize Standards for GLUTEN-FREE Labeling.
Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-282, Title II) was enacted in August 2004 and required Health and Human Services to set a gluten-free labeling rule by 2008.
With widespread support from the celiac community the FALCPA requires:
- ingredient statements to list whether any of the top eight allergens (milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, Crustacean shellfish, soy, and wheat) are contained in the product;
- the allergen to be listed by its common name, e.g. ‘wheat’ rather than ‘semolina’ or ‘kamut’; and
- the labeling for allergens if used in spices, natural or artificial flavorings, additives, and colorings.
These important food labeling changes went into effect on January 1, 2006.
In addition, the law required the FDA to implement rules for the voluntary labeling of products as ‘gluten-free’ by August, 2008. The agency’s proposal as published on January 23, 2007. To date the regulations have not been finalized.
An estimated 3 million Americans have celiac and even more may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Without adequate labeling, those on a medically prescribed gluten-free diet struggle to make safe food choices and stay well.
Children with celiac cannot participate in the National School Lunch Program when food service staff cannot determine if products are gluten-free.
Congress did its part by passing the law. It is up to the White House to protect the health of millions of adults and children by finalizing the rule NOW.