On April 9, 2019, Marilyn G. Geller, CEO of the Celiac Disease Foundation, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Geller was selected to testify on Public Witness Day from a pool of more than 175 applicants, advocating before the Subcommittee for dedicated research funding towards finding a cure for celiac disease.

“Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that is not being taken seriously enough by our government,” Geller testified. “Despite what you might see in popular media, celiac disease is not a fad. It is not a punchline. Americans are dying because we haven’t paid sufficient attention to this disease.”

Since its founding, the Celiac Disease Foundation has worked to gain recognition of the substantial impact of celiac disease on public health, and to amplify the voice of the patient community in the halls of Congress. In the past year, the Foundation has focused its efforts on advocating for NIH resources for the development of better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for celiac disease.

“Thank you for being here and we appreciate you bringing this issue before the Subcommittee,” Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro stated. “I think you’re right that this hasn’t been taken seriously enough.”

Geller urged the Subcommittee to direct NIH to invest in celiac disease research. The Foundation team is working with the Congressional staff to assure this.

Geller also thanked Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio, and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee Tom Cole from Oklahoma, for their support and sponsorship of H.R. 2074: The Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 — a bill intended to help patients identify gluten in medicine by requiring drug manufacturers to label medications with a list of ingredients, their source, and whether gluten is present, and endorsed by the Celiac Disease Foundation.

About the Celiac Disease Foundation
The Celiac Disease Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease—one of the world’s most common genetic autoimmune diseases. Founded in 1990, the Celiac Disease Foundation has led the fight by funding and executing initiatives in the principal areas of medical research, patient and healthcare provider education, and public policy advocacy, to bring an end to the suffering caused by celiac disease.

CEO Marilyn Geller Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee