As a parent of a small child with celiac, I am a diligent label reader. I read and reread every label – and usually recheck “safe” products every month or so. One thing that is becoming abundantly clear to me is that while the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (which requires labeling of top 8 allergens – wheat included but not gluten) made major strides in food safety, it does not provide the clarity needed and additional action is necessary.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working on guidance related to gluten labeling and testing but for now it is muddy water. Is there a difference between “may contain traces of wheat/gluten” and “produced in a facility that also manufactures wheat/gluten”? Some will tell you yes and others no but without a statutory definition of what these things mean and a requirement for testing to a set part per million (ppm) before you can label your product “gluten free” it is anyone’s guess.
My next step in this arena is to begin to really work on a campaign for action. So if any readers/bloggers out there know of a politician who is willing to take this cause under their wing, let’s get them on board and get this done!