Congressman Tim Ryan Applauds New Gluten Free Food Labeling Standards

Aug 7, 2014 Issues: Health Care

Warren, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan applauds the FDA for enforcing ‘gluten-free’ labeling standards and calls on the Administration to move forward with establishing guidelines to identify gluten in medications. Last year, the FDA created a rule that disallowed food manufacturers from labeling any food ‘gluten-free,’ unless the product contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten – which is generally recognized by the medical community as a low enough amount of wheat, rye or barley to not affect those with celiac disease.

“Celiac disease is a growing issue for our country and as elected officials it is our duty to give those affected all the resources they need to treat their disease,” said Congressman Ryan. “I applaud the FDA for taking the necessary steps to ensure that when Americans buy their groceries they have enough information to keep themselves and their families healthy.”

Congressman Ryan has introduced the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2013, which if passed it will make it easier to identify ingredients containing gluten in drug products. It also requires that drugs intended for human use have a label containing an identification of ingredients constituting or derived from a grain or starch.

“Since we now label food products containing wheat, why shouldn’t Americans have similar information pertaining to their medications? I am proud to have introduced legislation that can help avert the serious health risk millions of Americans are forced to endure every day while taking unlabeled, potentially harmful medications. I call on the FDA to move swiftly and insure that American medications containing gluten are labeled accurately. The health of our citizens is too important for us not to act,” said Congressman Ryan.

This legislation is crucial for the millions of Americans affected by this life-long digestive disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten or wheat grain products. According to the Mayo Clinic, celiac disease has increased by as much as four times in the last decade and affects three million Americans. The standard treatment for celiac disease is the elimination of gluten-containing products; and for some individuals, failure to avoid these can cause life-threatening complications.

The Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act has been endorsed by: American Celiac Disease Alliance, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Celiac Disease Foundation, Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the American College of Gastroenterology.