Spelt and kamut must be legally branded as wheat according to FALCPA 2004

Added on 21 Feb, 2006 . There are .

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act 2004 (FALCPA) that took effect January 1, 2006 makes label reading easier for grocery shoppers who have food allergies. However it has generated controversy for companies that produce foods containing spelt and kamut.

Both spelt and kamut are ancient varieties of wheat and are required to identify themselves as containing wheat.

Food manufacturers often market spelt and kamut products as wheat free alternatives for people with wheat allergies, arguing that many people in this category can tolerate their products. Most food allergists disagree with this, and firmly put spelt and kamut on the "forbidden" list. Including Dr. Robert Holzhauer of Allergy Asthma Immunology of Rochester who said, "Spelt is a type of wheat, and people cannot be assured that it is safe for the wheat-allergic."

Last month, as a result of FALCPA, the French Meadow Bakery in Minneapolis had 30,000 loaves of spelt and kamut bread seized by federal employees because they labelled these products wheat free. The company has agreed to re-label these products.

With the law behind FALCPA, products containing spelt or kamut and branded as wheat free will become a thing of the past in the US.

Wheat allergy sufferers in other countries that do not enforce food allergen laws should also take note, products containing spelt or kamut are not wheat free and should not be considered safe to eat if suffering from a wheat allergy.