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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seattle food banks offer little help to celiac patients

Nutrition advocates say that while many Seattle restaurants offer gluten-free menu options, low-income people with celiac disease still struggle to afford gluten-free products. Lisa Garza, who writes the Gluten Free Foodies blog, has urged food banks to create gluten-free pantries, but none have done so because of space and cost issues.

Gluten-free food labels get closer FDA scrutiny

Food labels on gluten-free products are getting closer scrutiny from the FDA as it broadly studies revamping food labels in general. The FDA says new technologies allow for more accurate validation of gluten levels in food so it has extended a comment period to the end of September on a 2007 proposal that said products with 20 parts per million or more of gluten could not be labeled as gluten-free.

FDA gluten-free standard is important for celiac patients

An FDA standard that says food products must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to achieve gluten-free status is an important first step for celiac disease patients even if it is not the preferred zero amount, Mayo Clinic dietitians say. There are no analytic methods that reliably detect lower concentrations, they say, and experts have said the 20 ppm level is a point at which there are few or no adverse events associated with eating the food.