It’s Election Day and We’re Thinking Politics

 

By Susannah Faulkner, Strategic Sales Manager

 

Have you ever considered the fact that having a food allergy means that you can be affected by some key pieces of legislation? When I was first diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2006, I had no idea that politicians had the power to make my life easier. So, since we are in the political spirit today, I am tapping into the

politician within me and I’m bringing you a cheat sheet on gluten related legislation that you should be aware of.

 

The Gluten in Medication Identification Act (H.R.4972)

Introduced on April 27th, 2012, by Representative Tim Ryan from Ohio.

This bill would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify and label any starch-containing ingredients in medication. It is often difficult to get gluten related information on prescription medications and this bill has the power to make a very positive impact on lives. The bill currently has 26 Democratic co-sponsors, and is sitting in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Consider contacting your local representatives to encourage them to take action on the bill!

 

Recognizing May as National Celiac Awareness Month (H.RES.246)

Introduced on May 4th, 2011, by Democratic Representative Nita Lowey of New York.

Unfortunately this is another bill that has stalled and is currently pending in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. As stated in the bill, the resolution would express “support for: (1) the goals and ideals of National Celiac Awareness Month, and (2) working toward an eventual cure for celiac disease through increased research and treatment.” It would also “recognize: (1) that awareness of celiac disease will have a significant positive impact on the quality of life of people with that disease, and (2) the importance of improving diagnosis rates through increased education about the disease.” This bill currently only has 9 Democratic co-sponsors, so it’s imperative we encourage our local representative to put it back on the table!

 

FDA Ruling on Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods.

Lastly, and one of the most important political involvement for those with a gluten intolerance, is the upcoming FDA ruling on Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods. This ruling by the FDA is four years overdue and we are still waiting for a conclusion. The Food Labeling and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by former President George W. Bush in 2004 and stated that the FDA and Department of Health and Human Services must create standards for gluten free within the next four years.

Currently the Food Labeling and Consumer Protection Act covers only the top eight allergens (and requires labeling of these allergens) but gluten is not included. Thus, food companies are not mandated to label for gluten and there are no actual standards for what is gluten free.

The FDA has committed to ruling on the gluten free standards in the first quarter of 2013. This would require any food company wishing to label their product as gluten free to be tested to under 20 ppm for gluten content, just like the procedure for the European Union. This would be a huge win for celiac awareness, and we urge you to stay up to date on the ruling!

 

We hope that this quick guide encourages you to take action on issues that are very close those of us living with celiac disease, food allergies, and/or other dietary restrictions.

 

Are there any other gluten related issues you’d like to see members of Congress act on?

 

Sources:

American Celiac Disease Alliance

US Department of Health and Human Services

US Food and Drug Administration

 

11 Responses to “It’s Election Day and We’re Thinking Politics”

  1. How Mitt Romney’s failure to appeal to the Asian American vote could cost him the White House was written pre-election; the most striking part of the article is watching the campaign outreach videos from the two candidates that were directed at the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community. Did I say striking? I mean striking.

  2. And this surprises you how? This is typical of the people who claim to be the 99%’ers. The same ones spending eight years in college to get a four year degree all at the expense of the public just so they can finish school and file for bankruptcy and write off their loans as debt to creditors rather than what it is, theft. Hoping everyone a well armed and peaceful voting experience!

  3. Magda Mogle says:

    Sure wish they’d riot out here in rural Missouri. Reminds me of the (paraphrased) “Amos Moses” song lyrics:

  4. chrystal says:

    I think that they should have to label everything that is gluten free and its wrong to label something that is gluten free when its not because people like myself can get very sick and be put in the hospital.

  5. caryn says:

    if fda cared they would check this junk out before letting it out they used to wait 7 years to make sure safe money got a hold of them and they don’t care processed sugars and processed foods all cause cancers we live in an ungodly world which means all lies and no caring. we need jesus back in the old times before man tampered with foods people were healthy it is no longer

  6. Nita Shipley says:

    Udi’s — I LOVE your products!! Especially your Baguettes!!! And am thrilled to see the Garlicky Chicken Caesar recipe — HOWEVER!! It MAY be misleading to some folks!!! Mayo, Worcestershire, and Chicken CAN each have Gluten!! Best Foods’ REAL Mayonnaise is Gluten Free. I understood that Worcestershire has Gluten (am I wrong?? – Hope so!!) And chicken CAN be injected with Gluten to moisten it. PLEASE be specific about GLUTEN FREE choices in your recipes!! Thank you!

  7. Amy says:

    where do your profits go to? What organizations? That is just as important as the legislations. Udi’s, please respond.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Amy, thanks for your question. We are not a non-profit organization but we do support numerous charitable organizations and appropriate events. We were also a supporter of Prop37. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to contact me at swolke@udisglutenfree.com. -Suzanne

  8. Sheila Stansberry says:

    I am so glad that the labeling is different now! I can now know what I am about to purchase and what the affects will be on my body!

    • Jill says:

      Labeling is not different now. Thats the point of this article. Something needs to change because there is no regulation on what is labeled gluten free and there is no mandate that gluten needs to be labeled on food.

  9. Chris Rose says:

    I would like to see more standardized labeling across all of North America, not simply the US or Canada. I also think that Companies that outsource any of their ingredients should be required to show a breakdown of content.

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