Health Canada seeks input on gluten free labeling

by Jeff Gelski
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OTTAWA — The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations currently do not allow oats in foods labeled as gluten-free, but Health Canada is seeking input on proposed principles that will guide the revision of gluten-free labeling regulations. Health Canada will receive comments until July 11.

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations state, “No person shall label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food unless the food does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye or triticale or any part thereof.” In addition, “gluten-free” is not permitted on packaged food products containing oats, even if the oats are pure and uncontaminated with other cereals.

A recent Health Canada review indicated the majority of people with celiac disease may tolerate moderate amounts of oats that are pure and uncontaminated with other cereals. Scientific knowledge also suggests pure oats may be beneficial to those individuals with celiac disease who tolerate pure oats, according to Health Canada.

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