By Amy Keller, MS, RD and Tricia Thompson, MS, RD
There are multiple ways to reach out to representatives and senators. Choose whatever method works best for you–mail, email, phone call, or in-person. Below is some information to help make the process easier.
Find representatives HERE.
Find senators HERE.
Calling your members of Congress may be an effective way to voice your opinion on the FLMA. The sample phone script below may be helpful to get you started.
Tips for success:
- Add your own story (briefly) and details about how this affects you or someone important to you. Your members of Congress or their staffers want to hear how this Bill will personally impact their constituents.
- If you are a healthcare professional who treats patients with celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders, note your expertise on the importance of medically prescribed gluten-free diets.
- You will likely be speaking to an aide or staffer, so make sure you make it clear what you want your representatives and senators to do.
- Other tips: Speak respectfully (no matter the political party) and keep your words brief.
Sample Phone Script
Hello, my name is (insert your name), and I’m one of your constituents from (insert city/state). I’m calling to ask (insert your senator or representative’s name) to support the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021, House Resolution 4917 and Senate Bill 2594. (I/a member of my family) must eat a medically prescribed gluten-free diet. This legislation would be a game-changer for Americans with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. It would require that food product packaging disclose gluten-containing ingredients. This would affect (me/a member of my family) by helping to ensure that foods we buy in the store and are safe for (me/us) to eat. Without this legislation, (I/we) continue to be at risk of unknowingly eating foods that contain gluten. Please vote “yes” on the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021. Thank you for your time and for considering my request for support of this Bill.
Whether you choose to send a letter or an email, contacting your members of Congress in writing is a great way to share your thoughts on the FLMA. The sample letter below may be helpful to get you started.
Tips for success
- Keep it brief, ideally to no longer than one page. Staffers get hundreds of letters each day, so be concise. Proofread your letter/email.
- Personalize your letter about what the FLMA would mean to you or someone important to you. Constituent stories can be very persuasive for elected officials.
- If you are a healthcare professional who treats patients with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders, list your credentials.
- Be sure to include the House Resolution number (H.R. 4917) and Senate Bill (S. 2594).
- Other tips: Be respectful (regardless of political party), list your complete contact information (even in emails), and thank the senator or representative for taking the time to read your letter/email.
On August 3rd, Representatives Pallone and DeLauro, and Senators Blumenthal, Whitehouse, and Markey introduced the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021 (H.R. 4917/S.2594). The FLMA is a comprehensive effort to address numerous food labeling issues and includes amending FALPCA (Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act) to require that food product packaging must disclose gluten-containing grains. The Bill also would require that allergen, gluten, and ingredient information must be displayed for food products sold online.
The FLMA is a game-changer for Americans with celiac disease and other gluten related disorders. Requiring labels to declare all gluten-containing grains in FDA-regulated foods will give us information we need to safely choose products for our medically prescribed gluten-free diets. Without the FLMA, we remain at risk of unknowingly eating foods that contain gluten.
(ADD YOUR PERSONAL STORY HERE)
Thank you for your consideration of support for this Bill.
Please attach any or all of these graphics to emails, include them in letters, or leave them in the offices of your members of Congress.
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