I put my money where my mouth is this week. I sent letters to my United States Senators calling for action to close the gaping hole in federal government regulations that has apparently allowed the Wellshire Farms company to sell so-called “gluten-free” products despite reported allergic reactions and independent tests showing varying levels of gluten in the product. Wellshire Farms says it is adhering to government standards.
I sent letters to Minnesota Senators Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar who both sit on the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Subcommittee on Nutrition and Food Assistance, Sustainable and Organic Agriculture and General Legislation. Both groups I believe will be a very good audience for our concerns regarding allergen labeling and government oversight to ensure gluten-free or dairy-free-labeled products, actually live up to their billing.
In my first post on the Chicago Tribune/Wellshire Farms investigation (Children at Risk in Food Roulette, November 21, 2008), I wrote about going all the way to your members of Congress to try and make change. So I did. In my letters, I requested their assistance in moving along the FDA’s decision on gluten labeling and a 20ppm standard, as well as mandating the USDA test for undeclared allergens. On this blog, you will find a copy of my letter. I hope it inspires you as well. We won’t know if writing the letters and emails will make any difference at all, but we certainly won’t know unless we try.