Why is it that you and your doctors probably haven’t heard about celiac disease? Although the amount of research on celiac disease is growing, it depends entirely on the generosity of benefactors for its funding. Without these charitable donations, there would be no way to continue this research and the efforts to raise awareness. Out of the estimated fifty autoimmune diseases that have been discovered by doctors, it is the only one for which research isn’t supported by the U.S. government.
Despite the lack of funding, thanks to the hard work of celiac disease advocates, there has been some progress made in the fight to raise awareness. In 2003, an unofficial group of celiac community leaders came together to help persuade Congress to pass a law which would require food labels to include information about allergens. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law on August 3, 2004, greatly helping those who suffer from celiac disease or who are gluten-sensitive to shop for gluten-free groceries. When this was achieved, the need for a permanently established advocacy organization was seen, and this advocacy group became the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA), which continues to this day to represent the celiac community to Congress.
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.