Originally published August 7 2014
'Gluten-free' finally means gluten-free! FDA announces regulations to enforce label meaning but are consumers really being protected?
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) An increasing number of people in the world today are becoming intolerant to gluten, which is a specific protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Sensitivity to the gluten protein now affects roughly 18 million Americans. This growing problem has given rise to an ever-expanding industry of "gluten-free" products. In recent years, the "gluten-free" label has become an advertising ploy, backed by little accountability. Now, the FDA is getting involved, announcing new regulations to enforce the meaning of the "gluten-free" label.
One of the first regulations enacted a year ago requires anything labeled "gluten-free" to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This limit on gluten ensures that those with gluten sensitivities won't get sick if they eat the product. Furthermore, the FDA will deny a product the "gluten-free" label if the product is made in the same manufacturing facility as products that contain gluten. The FDA is trying to protect consumers from cross-contamination.
Leading gluten-free food companies like Glutino and Udi's have already complied with the gluten limits. The CEO of Boulder Brands, which owns the two aforementioned companies, Stephen Hughes, says the new FDA regulations set a great standard, putting a "stake in the ground" that can increase the integrity of the gluten-free market. "If consumers can't have confidence in the products long-term, it's going to hurt the overall trend," he said.
Questioning the reasons why gluten sensitivities and celiac disease are on the riseAs the law brings more awareness to gluten sensitivities, many are beginning to wonder why a growing number of people are having a hard time digesting this specific wheat protein. For some, gluten sensitivity causes bloating, gas, and indigestion. For others, gluten sensitivities can cause an autoimmune condition called celiac disease that restricts a person's ability to assimilate nutrients.
Ten years ago, celiac disease was unheard of. The FDA estimates that some 3 million Americans struggle with the autoimmune condition. Some medical professionals believe that the rise in gluten sensitivity is because people are eating more processed wheat products today, including pastas and baked goods.
Is the increased amount of gluten in the diet to blame for heightened gluten sensitivities? More importantly, what is happening inside the human gut and intestinal flora that causes this indigestion? What role do human gut microbes play and how is their composition changing compared to years past? Are there any environmental triggers depleting gut microbes and leading to gluten sensitivities?
One possible cause is glyphosate, a powerful poison that's used as a mass-application herbicide on many of today's crops and lawns.
Glyphosate's role in decimating important human gut microbesGlyphosate works by disrupting the shikimate pathway in plants and microorganisms. Glyphosate is practically raping natural life processes, annihilating important amino acids. This same disruption occurs in microorganisms living in the human gut. Countless gut microbes help humans use vitamins and defend the body against invading pathogens. Glyphosate breaks these beneficial gut microbes down, impairing the human immune system.
According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, glyphosate activates retinoic acid, a metabolite of vitamin A. In a corresponding 2011 study, increased retinoic acid activated a specific immune response to gluten, showing how glyphosate plays a large role in gluten sensitivity.
FDA safety standards on gluten ignore the underlying causes of gluten sensitivity and the rise of celiac diseaseIt's important to note that people with celiac disease are really fighting a condition of not being able to absorb the necessary nutrients from food. This shows that anything that damages the beneficial flora in the human gut is to blame for celiac disease, whether it is glyphosate or prescription antibiotics.
While the FDA and government safety standards are set to make "gluten-free" labels more transparent and honest, at the same time, this government safety is permitting obscene doses of antibiotics and pesticides to hit the market, destroying human gut microbes. The very products perpetuating celiac disease and the malabsorption of nutrients are considered "safe" and allowed to be pumped into the economy en masse.
If Americans and people around the world are looking for food safety, then it's time to take a closer look at the science of gut microbes and the very products like glyphosate that are destroying people's immune systems from the inside out.
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