National Celiac Awareness Measure Garners Unprecedented Support Industry, Consumers and Policy Makers Back Legislation
The American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) announces unprecedented support for bill by Rep. Nita Lowey recognizing May as National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. The measure also emphasizes the important role dietitians play in helping celiac patients, and urges more funding for celiac research. Major medical groups, pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers and patient support groups have endorsed the bill.
The American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterology Association, American Dietetic Association, and American Osteopathic Association, along with pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers, and patient support groups have all endorsed the bill. (Complete list provided below).
Celiac disease affects at least one percent of the population, or roughly 3 million Americans, about 97% remain undiagnosed. While classified as a digestive disease, it actually is a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder that affects adults as well as children. Left untreated, celiac disease leads to other serious conditions including osteoporosis, infertility and cancer.
A recent report of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases noted that physicians in the U.S. don't understand that celiac disease is the most common genetic disorder in the world and aren't trained to look for it in patients. There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment for this chronic auto-immune disease remains strict adherence to a life-long gluten-free diet.
“Passing H.Con.Res.70 will help raise awareness among the medical profession and the general public,” said Representative Nita Lowey, the bill’s sponsor. “Millions of Americans have suffered for years with little understanding from the medical community or lawmakers. We are years behind European countries in dealing with celiac disease. Now is our chance to take a huge step forward.”
Food manufacturers see both the need for and the potential of catering to those with celiac disease. General Mills recently removed barley malt from its ‘Rice Chex’ cereal to create a safe gluten-free product. The Wall Street Journal estimates revenues for gluten free products will exceed $1.7 billion by 2010.
For additional information on the ACDA please visit: http://www.americanceliac.org
About the ACDA
The American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) was established in March 2003 to provide leadership on policy issues affecting the lives of individuals with celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disorder affecting children and adults. The non-profit organization is recognized internationally for its role in advocating on behalf of all segments of the celiac community.
Supporters of H.Con.Res. 70 include:
Alba Therapeutics Corporation
Amazing Grains LLC
American Celiac Disease Alliance
American College of Gastroenterology
American Dietetic Association
American Gastroenterology Association
American Osteopathic Association
Bakery on Main
Barry Rosenthal Studio
Bob & Ruth's Gluten-Free Dining & Travel Club
Cali Fine Foods
Case Nutritional Consulting
Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
Celiac Disease Foundation
Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland
Cerrone Cone, Inc.
Endangered Species Chocolate Company
Ener-G Foods, Inc.
Enjoy Life Brands™
Farm Pure Foods
Foods by George
French Meadow Bakery
Gifts of Nature
Gluten Free Cooking Spree
Gluten Free Gourmet Solutions LLC
Gluten Free Mama
Gluten Intolerance Group
Great Northern Growers Cooperative
Island Ice Cream and More
Jackson & Wheeler Restaurant
KC Medical Management
La Tortilla Company
Lettuce in Love, Inc
Nana’s Cookie Company
National Sorghum Producers
Nature's Chemistry LLC
Nearly Normal Cooking
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)
Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.
Risoterria Restaurant and Bakery
San-J International, Inc.
Sylvan Border Farms
Tricia Thompson, MS, RD
Tuttoriso Ristorante e Cafe
University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
Vivi's Original Sauce
Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group
Wm. K. Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease