Well after countless hours working ahead planning the first Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit, the big day came. Wednesday, May 4th, summit organizers Jules Shepard and John Forberger had their big day representing the gluten free community’s voice– demanding action on gluten free labeling.
The Food and Drug Administration was supposed to have enacted rules for voluntary gluten free labeling back in 2008 per the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. As of now it still hasn’t happened, which is why Shepard and Forberger took action this year.
Let the Gluten Free Summit Begin
For weeks, Shepard, who owns Jules Gluten Free, and volunteers baked cake after cake to create several layers for the nearly 12-foot-tall “world’s largest” gluten free cake for the event. And on Wednesday the assembly began at an Embassy Suites hotel in Washington DC. Tier after tier. Until it was finally stacked so high you needed to house it in an atrium open to at least two stories! See photo of the cake top going on here. Or you can see the new video of the cake construction here!
Around dinner time, the summit began with a good turnout of gluten free supporters. Some members of the Food and Drug Administration showed, including the Deputy Commissioner for Food as well as 2 Members of Congress. Yesterday, the Deputy Commissioner for Food Mike Taylor talked with ABC News about attending the summit and the status of labeling.
“I want people to understand that the FDA gets it. We’re on this. We’ll get this moving.” – Mike Taylor Deputy Commissioner for Food- FDA
He said the safety evaluation had been completed, peer-reviewed and hopes to be getting public comment within a matter of weeks. Today the @1in133 Twitter page said the FDA promised “better movement” when it comes to labeling.
Jules Shepard told The Savvy Celiac this morning that she was “thrilled that the FDA & members of Congress came to speak at out event and that they seemed to be genuinely motivated to help finalize gluten-free food labeling standards.” John Forberger added, “They [FDA] are very willing to open up the books and discuss gf food labeling”. It is all very exciting news to see this kind of action.
Shepard says, the awareness effort will continue past May 4th.
“Our work is not done though, and we will keep pushing until gluten free food labeling standards are in effect — GOOD GLUTEN FREE food labeling standards, are in effect”. – Jules Shepard, Gluten Free Labeling Summing Co-Organizer
Congratulations on getting national attention to our cause! Let’s just hope the FDA takes our passion and concern to heart and takes action ASAP!
*Updated 5/6: See the updated slideshow of photos here. Photos courtesy of 1in133/Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit.
See video of the cake assembly and additional info from Jules Shepard with this news story from ABC7 in Washington, DC
You can still donate to the Gluten Free Labeling Summit to defray costs of this awareness event. Click here.