Wednesday, 8 August 2012

"For our health and happiness, we must critically evaluate our labels and stories by their effects". Michael J. Cohen

For anyone out there who suffers from allergies you will appreciate this next piece of information.  On Saturday, August 04, 2012, a new legislature was passed regarding allergens on food labels.    In Canada alone approximately 2.5 million people admit to having at least one food allergy. Anaphylaxis is considered to be the most serious form of allergy and has lead to roughly 100-125 deaths per year in the United States alone.

Health Canada lists 10 “priority” food allergens in the regulations, including peanuts, eggs, milk, tree nuts, wheat, soy, sesame seeds, seafood, sulphites and mustard.  

These changes basically include making companies clearly label and identify the presence of known allergens on the products.  They are also to change the wording of the ingredients to make it easier for people to read and.  For those people whose allergies are life-threatening and those with diseases like Celiac (who cannot have gluten), this new law is critical.  Many of the allergens (especially wheat) have been previously hidden in other ingredients like spices or icing sugar and not labelled.  If someone with a severe wheat allergy or celiac disease eat one of these products they would be left withering in pain or sick.  

I am one of those poor unfortunates.  I have a wheat allergy that is pretty severe.   Just recently I came in contact with something that had wheat in it and it left me with crippling stomach pains and lying on the floor for roughly 4 hours.  Not the most fantastic way of wasting an afternoon.  I am still not sure what I ate that may have had some wheat or cross contamination.  So you can understand my relieve when I heard about this new law.  I have been buying gluten-free baking powder, icing sugar and spices for years now.  However I would never have known that these products contained wheat had someone not told me, or I ate them and became sick.  Now it will be made available and no longer hidden for unsuspecting!  Finally changes designed to better protect people with allergies.


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