The world’s largest gluten-free cake debuted in Washington, DC as an effort to convince the FDA to create gluten-free food labeling standards. The huge cake weighed nearly a tone and had nine layers. It was presented by gluten-free labeling advocate John Forberger, according

The cake was created as part of an effort coinciding with the Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit, taking place this week. The giant cake will raise awareness of gluten-free issues, including efforts to prompt the FDA to issue a labeling standard for gluten-free foods. The FDA is responsible for creating food labeling standards, and was ordered to recommend gluten-free labeling standards to Congress in 2008, but still has not done so.

According to Forberger, food labels are critical for those with food allergies, because purchasing gluten-free foods is “a medical necessity, and until there’s a cure for celiac disease, eating foods free of gluten is the only treatment.” However, there are currently no restrictions on what qualifies as gluten-free. “The industry is a self-regulating one . . . anyone can slap the words ‘gluten-free’ on a product and charge a premium, ” Forberger says.

In addition to the huge cake, Forberger’s efforts also included an online petition, which gathered more than 10,000 supporters. The effort seems to have had an effect; the FDA has announced that it will invite public comments related to gluten-free food labeling, and has set a goal of Fall of 2012 for the creation of uniform and enforceable regulations for labeling a food ‘gluten-free.’

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