Can I eat wheat in Europe?

Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN
Q: I have heard that wheat flour in Europe is safer for those with celiac disease than in the United States. What are your thoughts?

Answer


No, this is a common myth floating around. However, wheat flour is not safe for people with celiac disease regardless of type or origin.

It is true that they have different varieties of wheat in Europe and some are lower in gluten than others, however they are still nowhere near safe for people with celiac disease.

An important thing to point out is that Europe has about the same prevalence of celiac disease as the United States.

What about genetically modified wheat in the United States?

Contrary to popular belief genetically modified organism (GMO) wheat is not available commercially in the United States.

What GMOs are grown in the US?

  • Alfalfa
  • Apple
  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Cotton/cottonseed
  • Potato
  • Soy/soybean
  • Sugar beet
  • Yellow summer squash/zucchini

Currently there is no recommendation that people with celiac disease should stay away from GMOs or evidence that they would make celiac disease worse unless they are not gluten free.

You can read more about GMO’s and celiac disease here: https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/are-gmos-related-to-celiac-disease/

Reference:

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). GMO Crops, Animal Food, and Beyond. FDA Website. https://www.fda.gov/food/agricultural-biotechnology/gmo-crops-animal-food-and-beyond

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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