Mo. representative pushes for gluten-labeling on shampoos
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Mo. representative pushes for gluten-labeling on shampoos

Date: March 6, 2013
By: Rastislav Hamracek
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 549

JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri legislature is pushing for better labeling about a product that causes a  kind of food allergy that affects millions of Americans.

The product is avoid gluten, contained in wheat, that is used both in food and other products.

The bill, sponsored by, Rep. Vicky Englund, D-St. Louis, would include not only food but all hygiene items including shampoo and conditioner.

Under her proposal, manufacturers and wholesalers of such products would be required to label whether the item contain gluten. Englund said she was moved to introduce this legislation by one of her constituents.

"She got gluten out of her diet completely, but was still very ill and almost died," Englund said. "By process of elimination and further research, she concluded that there was gluten in her shampoo."

Small amounts of gluten can be found in many cosmetics, lotions and shampoos, according to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.

A 2012 study by George Washington University not only confirmed this fact, but also showed that using these products may pose a threat for gluten sensitive people. Cosmetics items often contain Vitamin E, considered healthy for the human skin. And the most common source for naturally derived Vitamin E is from wheat germ oil.

Englund’s gluten-labeling bill is currently pending before the House Health Care Policy Committee, but has not been scheduled for a hearing yet.

According to The National Institutes of Health, between 5% and 10% of all Americans suffer from a gluten sensitivity of some form. Even the reporter of this news is included in this population. The U.S. market with gluten-free products is expected to grow to about $5.5 billion by 2015.

By way of full disclosure, the author of this article has an allergy to gluten.

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