By Angela Petrie
I have been following the news with respect to the latest ‘hiccup’ in the decade long quest to introduce legislation making it mandatory for companies to whether the food contains any of the top common allergens. I have been diligently signing the petitions, emailing my MP, and asking friends/family etc. to do the same.
I was quite surprised to see an excerpt from my email to Ron Cannan quoted in a Press Release issued by the Canadian Celiac Association last week about the latest snag to the Bill – “Food and beverage labelling amendments have taken more than a decade to get to the stage where they are about to become law but now could be killed at the highest level because of the influence of Canada’s beer industry.” Final approval of these amendments remains in jeopardy.
The National Post wrote an article today detailing the breweries side of the story. It can be found at: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/Beer+makers+protest+proposed+allergy+warning+labels/4137753/story.html
Now everyone is obviously allowed to state their opinions, but it was some of the comments written after the article that have me extremely angry:
(1) ”Firstly, anybody who is not aware that beer contains barley or wheat is too stupid to drink beer. Secondly, “How do I feed my children at dinner safely”? If you are serving your children beer at dinner, you have bigger problems than celiac disease.”
(2) Better yet, Health Canada officials should have a warning label on their foreheads that states WARNING- THIS CONTAINER IS 100% IDIOT.
(3) Uh … what else can you make beer with? Frankly, anyone allergic to grains who goes and drinks beer anyway pretty much deserves to get sick.
These comments really irk me. It is the actions of these breweries, who have been at the negotiating table for over a decade, that put the entire legislation at risk. This affects so many people, not just celiacs, and ‘big business’ is influencing decisions that have life and death consequences (peanut/shellfish/lactose allergies).
This is my rant for the evening. If you are concerned about this issue contact your MLA and let them know your opinion.
Angela Petrie is a gluten free consultant. She can be reached at 250-863-8123 or check out her website at www.glutenfreehelp.ca