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Thursday, April 5, 2007
Be a Celiac Advocate -- Ask your Representative to cosponsor and support H.Con.Res. 70 -- TODAY!
The American Celiac Task Force website (http://www.americanceliac.org/home.htm) has a page where you can directly contact your local Representative to help support H.Con.Res 70 which is to officially make May Celiac Awareness Month. You have the option to either submit via email or print the letter and mail it. The bill was introduced to Congress on Feb. 16, 2007, but has not yet been moved to "scheduled for debate" status. It isn't much, but at least it was introduced.

You can access the "take action" page here: http://capwiz.com/celiac/issues/alert/?alertid=5938561

You can get the full text of the bill here:
GovTrack.us. H. Con. Res. 70--110th Congress (2007): Supporting the goals and ideals of National Celiac Awareness Month, and for other purposes, GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?tab=main&bill=hc110-70 (accessed Apr 5, 2007)


If you already know who your local Representative is and want to mail the letter yourself, you can use this copy if you would like:

I am writing today to request your cosponsorship of H.Con.Res. 70, recognizing the goals and ideals of National Celiac Awareness Month (May).

Celiac disease is the most common genetic disorder in the world, yet many know very little about it. It affects children, adults, men and women. Individuals with celiac disease are unable to eat foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. For them, gluten sets off a reaction which causes damage to the small intestine.

The number of people living with celiac disease in the United States is estimated at 2.2 million, yet only about 90,000 have been accurately diagnosed. Symptoms of celiac disease include: osteoporosis, arthritis, anemia, and infertility. Without treatment, the condition can be life threatening and has been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, especially intestinal lymphoma.

H.Con.Res. 70, introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey, references recommendations of the NIH Consensus Panel on Celiac Disease which found that consultation with a skilled dietitian and identification and treatment of nutritional deficiencies were key elements in the management of celiac disease. That panel also urged the adoption of a standard definition of a gluten-free diet based on objective evidence such as that being developed by the American Dietetic Association.

I urge you to contact Rep. Lowey, or Jean Doyle in her office, at (202) 225-6506 to co-sponsor H.Con.Res. 70. Please feel free to contact me, or the American Celiac Disease Alliance (info@americanceliac.org) for additional information about celiac disease. Thank you for all of your support!

Sincerely,

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