On August 3, 2021, the Food Labeling Modernization Act (FLMA) of 2021 (H.R.4917 and S.2594) was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ed Markey (D-MA). This legislation would update front-of-package food labeling requirements, require updates to the ingredients list on packaged foods, and apply consumer friendly labeling requirements, including the disclosure of gluten-containing grains.
Certain food ingredients pose risks to people with medical conditions, including the more than three million Americans with celiac disease, a serious genetic autoimmune disease. It’s currently far too difficult to figure out whether and how much of these ingredients are present in foods. For those with celiac disease, ingesting gluten- a protein found in wheat, barely and rye sources- causes damage to the villi of the small intestine, leading to long-term health complications, including heart disease and cancers. This legislation would require that barely and rye, in additon to wheat, be listed in the “Contains” statement and /or the ingredients on packaged food labels.
As we know from the FDA’s Gluten-Free Labeling rule, food labels play an important role in managing celiac disease, yet federal labeling rules still do not require that food ingedients disclose if they containing barley or rye. This labeling change will allow concerned consumers to know, for example, if the malt syrup or natural flavorings in their food contains barley.
Food labels need to provide the simple, straightforward information that celiac patients need to evaluate products and make healthy choices.
Please take one minute to email your Members of Congress to support the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021 to make it easier and safer for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to purchase food items by disclosing if foods contain gluten.
To Our Health,
Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021 – Marilyn’s Message August 2021