Canadian Celiac Advocates Fight to Keep Food Labeling Changes on Track

January 25, 2011

Canadian Celiac Advocates Fight to Keep Food Labeling Changes on Track

Proposed legislation challenged by beer industry.

Celiac and food allergy advocates in Canada are urging the government to follow through with proposed food labeling changes, despite opposition from Canadian brewers.

The new regulations, which represent more than a decade of work, would require every food or beverage label to list which allergens are present in the product. As a result of these changes, beer labels would need to declare sources of gluten, including wheat, barley and rye.

The Canadian beer industry has criticized the regulations, citing the high costs of producing new labels. Since beer typically contains gluten, adding a warning to the label would be like “saying ketchup contains tomatoes,” as one article put it.

Celiac and food allergy advocates, however, note that clear labeling is critical to their health. Proper identification of allergens would also reduce the economic burden of coping with adverse reactions, including hospital stays and time away from work, supporters noted.

Shelley Case, RD, author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, sent an email asking fans to support the legislation. Canadians should contact their Member of Parliament or Join Allergic Living’s Write-In Campaign, she said.