Promote Gluten-Free Food Labelling

If you’re like me, you’re constantly studying the labelling on packaged foods and trying to figure out if it contains something that will make you sick.  There’s good news in Canada and not-so-good news in the U.S. on food labelling.

The good news first: If you live in Canada, as I do, you will be protected by new Health Canada regulations as of August 4, 2012, when food manufacturers will have to label ingredients more accurately.  The following information about the new regulations is from the Health Canada website:

Under the new regulations, when protein, modified protein or protein fractions from the following foods are present in prepackaged products, these allergens will need to be declared using plain language.

  1. almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts;
  2. peanuts;
  3. sesame seeds;
  4. wheat and triticale; 
  5. eggs;
  6. milk;
  7. soybeans;
  8. crustaceans (common name of the crustaceans);
  9. shellfish (common name of the shellfish);
  10. fish (common name of the fish); or
  11. mustard seeds.

Also, gluten sources will need to be declared when a food contains gluten protein, modified gluten protein, or gluten protein fractions from barley, oats, rye, triticale or wheat (or a hybridized strain of any of these cereals)

The not-so-good news: The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) was supposed to set new guidelines for food labelling seven years ago, but nothing has been done.  As a result, people in the celiac and gluten-free community have decided to become activists on this issue.  As May is Celiac Awareness month, groups have come together to protest the FDA’s foot-dragging and promote better labelling.  The “1 in 133” event will take place on May 4. The name is derived from the fact that one in every 133 people in the U.S. suffers from celiac disease or a gluten intolerance issue.

If you’re interested in pushing for better labelling in the U.S., please visit this page from the Simply Sugar Gluten-Free blog for information and to find out ways of connecting with the FDA, including the chance to sign a petition.

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2 thoughts on “Promote Gluten-Free Food Labelling

  1. Thank you for sharing this information! I’ve seen a lot about the 1 in 133 event, but since I also live in Canada, it’s not really applicable to me. I’m glad that Canada is set to have this legislation in place – it will definitely make things much easier to decipher!

    • I agree and am glad we don’t have to fight this battle. What’s scary about the U.S. situation is that it demonstrates (I suspect) a food manufacturing lobby with too much influence and power. You have to wonder what it is that they want to hide…the amount of junk and chemicals they’re adding to food?

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