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Have Your Cake. . . and Rally for Gluten-Free Standards, Too!
March 29, 2011
The gluten-free marketplace is booming. We have more and more product choices that taste better than ever. It’s all good news… right?
I’m not one to rain on a parade, particularly when it comes to delicious food, but I have a word of caution. With all the new products on the grocery shelves, there are no standards for claiming what’s “gluten free.” No legal definition of the term. No regulation. No enforcement. That means those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are at risk should companies slap on a GF label without going through the necessary steps to eliminate cross contamination in their manufacturing processes.
The Food and Drug Administration was supposed to develop standards as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). This law requires manufacturers to list the top eight allergens, which include wheat--but not gluten. Now three years later, we’re still waiting for FDA to move on a gluten standard.
Which brings me to cake.
Specifically, the world’s largest gluten-free cake.
This cake will be constructed with much fanfare in Washington, DC on May 4th at the Embassy Suites Convention Center.
“We’re making a huge cake to spotlight the lack of standards for gluten,” says Jules Shepard, gluten-free author and baking expert who’s organizing the event with gluten-free triathlete and blogger John Forberger. “It’s time to pressure FDA to stop delaying and to take action!”
The event, called 1in133 (1 in 133 people in the United States have celiac disease but most are undiagnosed), will culminate with a VIP reception for federal lawmakers and concerned members and friends of the gluten-free community. More details to follow but in the meantime, mark your calendar—May 4th –-and check out 1in133.org for more info and to sign the petition. We need your name on it. This is important for the gluten-free community. See you there!