Going Gluten-FreeMay 2, 2012

It's Your Right!

Spread the word about the Celiac Bill of Rights!

Three million Americans have celiac disease and an estimated 18 to 20 million more may be gluten sensitive. To serve this growing population, gluten-free prepared products are popping up on grocery store shelves in record numbers. This year, sales of gluten-free products are expected to reach $2.5 billion. According to one research group, the gluten-free market will exceed $5 billion in sales by 2015.

All this activity makes the gluten-free label a popular marketing buzzword. The good news is that gluten-free consumers have more choices than ever before. But are these products truly safe?

In the absence of federal labeling regulations, manufacturers can jump on the gluten-free bandwagon without understanding (and addressing) the medical implications of cross contamination. Ingredients may be sourced from plants that don’t adequately scrub their lines or double-check their manufacturing processes.

Living Without magazine believes that safe food products are the right of every American who is living with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Gluten-free consumers should be able to:

  • Rely on manufacturers to produce food products that are safe from gluten contamination.
  • Rely on the federal government to provide uniform standards and regulations for labeling gluten-free foods, beverages, medications and personal care products.
  • Rely on food companies to accurately label all product ingredients.
  • Rely on restaurants to provide accurate information about menu items and food preparation.
  • Rely on grocery stores to regularly stock gluten-free products that are manufactured using safe practices.
  • Rely on the airlines, buses and trains to provide accommodation for gluten-free travelers.
  • Rely on schools and colleges to accommodate students with special dietary needs.

We hope you agree. Tell us your thoughts – and spread the word!

You can print out the Celiac Bill of Rights by going to http://www.livingwithout.com/news/celiac_bill_of_rights_web-2932-1.html?zkPrintable=true.

 

Comments (13)

The Food Consumer's Bill of Rights would be a better name because everyone is a food consumer. We all need to know the ingredients in a product.

Posted by: nqjohnston | May 12, 2012 7:59 PM    Report this comment

Maybe the name should be changed to "Food consumers Bill of Rights"? Then it would cover celiac and full disclosure of all ingredients, for those of uswith other allergies than the big 8.

Posted by: Peg | May 7, 2012 8:56 AM    Report this comment

I absolutely agree and support this! Let's get a petition started and present it to our representatives!

Posted by: Margo E | May 4, 2012 2:19 PM    Report this comment

I support the bill of rights above. All ingredients should be clearly listed on all food and drink, snack. I am allergic to all dairy, eggs, sugar and now gluten. Shopping is a nightmare at times depending on what I am trying to cook or bake and make with substitutes. Going somewhere for the day or on a trip is very difficult because many restaurants have cooks who do not even know if gluten is in their food!

Posted by: Lana J | May 4, 2012 2:10 PM    Report this comment

Full disclosure would make things so much easier. It takes me forever to shop - reading labels and such in the regular aisles. To shop in the "health/natural aisle or store" I need to wear gloves and hope to have a wing man to pick up packages for me. I am so allergic to flax, that I can't even touch it. That includes touching packages in that scary aisle.

Posted by: Peg | May 4, 2012 9:58 AM    Report this comment

I agree with abaove comment. Packaged foods, other food vendors (bakeries, etc.), and prepackaged foods ALL need more transparency about their ingredients, for the benefit of all persons with food allergies and other food intolerances, not just gluten. I have multiple severe food and chemical intolerances, and find that some food manufacturers will not disclose all of their ingredients, particularly spices and flavorings. /SAndra Stedinger, M.D.

Posted by: Sandra S | May 4, 2012 12:06 AM    Report this comment

Schools should be required by law to offer gluten free meal options and full disclosure of ingredients used on all food products! My son was unable to eat in his high school cafeteria. When in college he was told that there were gluten free choices on his meal plan. Not so! They took our money and did not provide what they claimed.

Posted by: Inga D | May 3, 2012 12:36 PM    Report this comment

Canada already has regulated the display of gluten free on their country's products. So, why can't we have the same here in the US! It makes me SO mad to get an item in the store, that has no gluten listed no it at all, then I eat it, and am sick for a week ... because I call the manufacturer and find out it is not gluten free. It just boils my blood! The FDA ought to do something about this, since they can't seem to do a whole lot of anything else right! This should be pretty easy for them to tackle!

Posted by: Rebecca P | May 3, 2012 12:31 PM    Report this comment

I totally agree, and what's more is you need to add hospitals and care facilities to this list. I just spent twenty-five days in our local hospital and was never guaranteed to have GF medications and the food for celiacs was all frozen and made in a contaminated kitchen. How awful is that for a health care facility to not care about celiac and the effects.

Posted by: Jerri M | May 3, 2012 12:14 PM    Report this comment

I agree that uniform, full-disclosure food labeling should be mandated. Food is life; everyone has the right to know EXACTLY what is going in to their bodies. A Gluten-Free diet is not a fad; it is an essential way of life to manage a real disease/sensitivity/intolerance. I would definitely support any move toward this type of federal consumer protection. To Peg (above): Yes! ALL ingredients should be revealed clearly, not shrouded under ambiguous terms like "Food Starch."

Posted by: Unknown | May 3, 2012 12:12 PM    Report this comment

To be more inclusive a better name would be "Gluten Free Bill of Rights"!

Posted by: commonsense | May 3, 2012 11:38 AM    Report this comment

Haveing a Celiac Bill of Rights, great! This would be so helpful when shopping or leaving the house! Thanks Living Without!

Posted by: Susie Q | May 3, 2012 11:07 AM    Report this comment

I agree that celiacs need these rights, but what about us allergic folks with allergies other than the big 8?

Posted by: Peg | May 3, 2012 10:54 AM    Report this comment

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