Public comments were collected on the listing of oats.
Health Canada is reviewing public feedback on a proposed change to its gluten-free labeling policy. Under the current policy, products labeled gluten-free must be void of wheat, barley, rye and oats, but a 2007 study found the majority of people with celiac disease can tolerate pure oats. A two-month comment period on the proposal ended July 11.
According to Postmedia News:
"The Canadian Celiac Association says the safety of oats has been extensively investigated and the evidence confirms that pure oats can be eaten in limited quantities. It also notes that the studies involved a small number of subjects, however, and that people should consult a physician if they want to try introducing oats into their diet.
Dr. Connie Switzer, chair of the professional advisory board for the Celiac Association, said Health Canada's revisions are necessary and will help clarify standards for manufacturers while making things easier for consumers.
'The old definition doesn't work with the new knowledge,' she said. 'My take is it's a good thing.'"
Health Canada plans to review public comments and develop options for a policy change, but assures that it will be "mindful and protective of the minority of individuals with celiac disease who do not tolerate the consumption of un-contaminated oats."