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Canadian Celiac Association Increases Gluten-free Awareness with Allergen Control Group

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 General News J E 4
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Topic will be lynchpin of upcoming Gluten-Free Stakeholders Update & Planning Session event in Toronto

TORONTO, July 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Celiac disease continues to be an important topic in Canada, with an estimated one in 133 persons in the country affected by the condition. However, many of these Canadians find it difficult to gain easy and affordable access to gluten-free products. To address this discrepancy, the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) today announced it has signed a project management agreement with Toronto-based Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG) to continue driving gluten-free awareness activities with stakeholders, from growers to food service and consumers.

The first deliverable will focus on enhancing access to Canadian sources of certified gluten-free grains, testing protocols, and communication between stakeholders within the gluten-free food market. The project's long-term goal is to broaden the availability of safe and affordable gluten-free products in an effort to meet the needs of celiac and gluten-sensitive consumers who rely on a gluten-free diet as their only treatment. In addition, the work will also provide greater market share for Canadian farmers and suppliers of gluten-free grains in Canada. The work has started and will conclude by March 2018.

"The outcomes of the project will build on work previously supported by the stakeholder group, and recommendations made by the CCA and industry partners to build improved standards, systems and tools for manufacturers to reliably deliver safe gluten-free foods," says Sue Newell, Operations Manager at the CCA. "Sticking to a gluten-free diet, which is the only accepted treatment for celiac disease, can be challenging and costly because of limited food choices. Enhancing the availability of truly gluten-free food sources, particularly grain and cereal-type foods, will greatly assist people with diseases and conditions triggered by gluten. Suppliers and manufacturers of gluten-free food will also benefit from a larger and consistent supply of certified gluten-free grains."

Building on similar past initiatives, the CCA in partnership with ACG will host the third Gluten-Free Stakeholders Update & Planning Session in Toronto on September 27th and 28th, 2016. Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University will be presenting the Keynote address, an 'Update on Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, and Non-Dietary Therapies'. The lecture will provide an overview on gluten-related disorders, with an emphasis on the epidemiology of celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and interest in the gluten free diet. Representatives from Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the FDA are expected to host additional sessions.

Attendees will further be exposed to a broad range of presentations from leading gluten-free experts and stakeholders on a wide number of topics, including celiac disease, the gluten-free market, certification processes, testing protocols, auditing, regulations and enforcement. Further details can be found at www.gfstakeholdersession.com.    

"We are excited to be working on this project with the CCA and are confident all stakeholders will receive huge value as we aim to gain consensus to shape the future of this important category and share in the anticipated outcomes and tools," states Paul Valder, president and CEO at ACG.

About the Canadian Celiac AssociationThe Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is the national voice for people who are adversely affected by gluten, and is dedicated to improving diagnosis and quality of life. Based in Mississauga, Ontario with 28 Chapters across the country, its mission includes advocacy, education, research and community support. http://www.celiac.ca

About the Allergen Control Group Inc. The Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG) is a privately held corporation which owns and operates the Gluten-Free Certification Program on a global basis and is endorsed exclusively by the CCA in Canada and the NFCA (operating as Beyond Celiac) in the USA. http://www.glutenfreecert.com

SOURCE Canadian Celiac Association (CCA)

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