Canada OKs gluten-free claims on specialty oats
June 2, 2015
By Bakers Journal
June 2, 2015, Ottawa –To mark Celiac Awareness Month, the federal government approved “gluten-free” claims on specially produced oats and foods containing these oats.
Gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye and barley are widely used in the production of many foods. People with celiac disease must avoid eating the gluten protein found in these grains to manage their condition, the government said in a news release. In the case of oats, normal agricultural practices can result in the unintended presence of small amounts gluten from other grains. However, recent evidence shows that oats can safely be consumed by the majority of people with celiac disease, as long as they have been produced and processed to avoid cross-contamination by gluten from other cereals. Health Canada will now allow specially produced oats with trace amounts of gluten to carry a “gluten-free” claim.
“These changes will make it easier for Canadians with celiac disease to make safe and informed food choices. By allowing a gluten-free claim on specially produced oats and foods that contain them, consumers with gluten sensitivities will be better able to identify products they can safely eat,” Minister of Health Rona Ambrose said in making the announcement.
“We are pleased that Health Canada has made important changes that will benefit the celiac community through allowing gluten-free claims on specially produced oats and products containing these oats. Oats are a nutritious grain and can add variety for those who must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. The term “gluten-free oats” on labels will make it much easier for the gluten-free consumer to identify products that they can safely eat,” said Anne Wraggett, president of the Canadian Celiac Association.
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