Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest post - Health Canada considers gluten labeling policy.

My sister has asked me to post something on the blog about an issue that's very important to her. Here's her guest post about potential Canadian legislation that would require manufacturers to list gluten as an ingredient in prepared foods, and why it's so important to those who suffer gluten intolerance that it does.

Imagine living your life thinking you have a certain digestive disorder. You have pain, bloating, and discomfort (not to mention certain unmentionable things) every day of your life. Everyday. You set aside an hour each morning in case you are suddenly very sick, so you won't be late to class. Imagine never being able to wear a nice pair of jeans, because any pressure on your stomach causes pain. Then imagine learning you don't have that certain disease, but another one, that can be easily controlled with a special diet. Now imagine you have no control over that diet, because you don't always know if a certain product is in any purchased food.

I'm Ronniecat's sister, here referred to as Sister, and all my life I thought I had IBS. Turns out I have a Gluten Sensitivity. I can't eat normal wheat. Since starting to change my diet, I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel, how much more energy I have, how nice it is to wear a nice pair of jeans. There's just one problem. Not all products indicate if they have wheat, or gluten, in them. Some products list it, but not all, and there's no real cut-and-dried rule about what would be "Gluten free". Made in a factory with no other products that contain wheat? A little wheat? The possible cross-contamination of wheat? Did you know mustard contains wheat? I didn't.

Health Canada is now proposing a new policy intent for revising Canada's Gluten-Free labeling. They want to take another look at the laws for labeling foods.
If you're interested in this, or if you would just like to read up on and it have a say on our behalf, please feel free to do so. Anyone is free to comment until July 11, 2010.


Check this out. It matters.



Blogger Brian Fies said...

This is an issue that looms large in my family as well, though I've never had reason to write about it. Celiac disease affects a lot of people and gluten is sneaky, showing up in places you'd never expect (soy sauce?!). I see no harm and great benefit in the proposed labeling legislation.

I think part of the challenge is convincing people that gluten sensitivity/intolerance isn't just the latest trendy dietary fad--a challenge not helped by the fact that for some people, it is. But when a disease shows up in biopsies and blood tests--when a normal healthy person reads 0 to 50 on an antibody test and your number comes up 1200--that's real. This is a new thing for most people, and I think some education over time will help.

12:51 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

I agree. I really hope the new guidelines are adopted here. If it makes such a difference in peoples' lives... labeling is only fair, y'know?

8:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Hearing Aids Brisbane said...

I agree with your ideas Brian Fies. Glad to hear it from you.

10:15 a.m.  

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