Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Raleigh CSA Support Group 1-21-2010 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 1-21-2010. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.
North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
January 21, 2010 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room, Raleigh, North Carolina

Three representatives from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Food and Drug Protection Division (4000 Reedy Creek Road, 1070 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1070) addressed the group. Daniel L. Ragan, RPh, Director, Anita M. MacMullan, Food Compliance Supervisor, and Jim Melvin, Assistant Director of Regulatory Programs, discussed the temporary restraining order issued against Great Specialty Products on 1/21/2010 after several consumer complaints of adverse reactions were received. They are investigating the sale of products labeled gluten-free but have test results that indicate gluten. The North Carolina Attorney General is also participating.

Complaints are being accepted by the department and anyone can submit a description, including the name of the product, where it was purchased and date, to the address given above, via fax (919) 733-6801 or e-mail to ncda.complaints@ncagr.gov. Nationwide the FDA still has not finalized gluten-free labeling, but our local officials are committed to protect citizens especially those dependent on a medically prescribed diet. Our group was advised to always ask for a list of ingredients to be sure you understand what you are consuming (Zach's note - Great Specialty Products did provide me an ingredients listing - click here to see it and all the other information on this subject).

Pat distributed the schedule for 2010. No meetings will be held in July and August. She also shared an article from Reuters Health News regarding antibody testing. While the antibody blood tests are only a screening tool, they have lead to a greater number of celiac cases being diagnosed, especially in patients with atypical symptoms. Several members reported on the presentation Celiac Disease: New Diet Options given at the Teer House of Duke Medicine’s Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development. Another digestive health talk with be held on September 28, 2010.

There is a local meetup group known as Gluten-Free in the Triangle. Their website is http://www.meetup.com/Gluten-free-in-the-Triangle.

Meeting guest Maria Hopper presented a gluten free pizza tasting to introduce a new crust. Her company, Happy Tummy Baking Company, has developed a wheat, yeast, dairy, egg and soy free product. The prepared frozen crusts should be available for sale at Whole Foods Raleigh by March (Zach's note: More to come on this very soon!). Baked goods from Katz Gluten Free were also distributed. Retail locations can be found on their website.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 18, 2010 in the private dining room at Rex Hospital. Custom Choice Cereal, a local company, will be invited as special guest.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris


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