Our second day in Ottawa began with another lovely breakfast at which I met Devan (Accustomed Chaos)
After breakfast, Heidi, Devan and I settled down to listen.
The first speaker was Dr. Daniel Leffler. Dr. Leffler is the Director of Clinical Research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School!
Dr. Leffler spoke to us about “The future of Celiac Disease: Therapies and Routes to a Cure.” Yes! There are people working on finding a cure for Celiac Disease.
He was very informative and a pleasure to listen to.
Up next was Beth Armour (Cream Hill Estates) to talk about “The Porridge puzzle” Ms. Armour enlightened us on the process of becoming certified gluten free. There is a lot more goes on behind the scenes than you might imagine.
The fields cannot have had any gluten containing crops for 2 to 3 years before planting oats. The oat seeds are constantly checked, by hand, to be sure no wheat rye or barley seeds have accidentally gotten in.
Cream Hill Estates was founded in 2004 by Ms. Armour and Tracy Perry (A medical genetics researcher). Thank you Beth and Tracy!
After Beth’s presentation, we had a break and I took that opportunity to visit the vendor’s area.
The vendor turnout was impressive!
I went to each of the booths and spoke with as many of these people as I could. I wanted to thank them for making the products that we know and trust to make our lives a little more comfortable.
I met some old friends such as Patsy Pie, O’Dough’s, and Pamela’s.
I was also introduced to companies I haven’t seen before.
The vendors were very generous with their samples, coupons and cookbooks etc. and I came away with a bag full of goodies.
Back to the seminars to listen to Dr.Ted Malahias speak about “Dental Enamel Defects and Celiac disease; another piece of the puzzle.”
So you might be thinking “Dentist? Boring!” but no! This man was funny (yes, a funny dentist) and informative. Were you aware that you should be asking your dentist about gluten in the polishes, impression materials, and adhesives etc.?
I could have listened to Dr. Malahias all day. But then I would have missed Dr. Samuel Godfroy, PhD.
Dr. Godfroy is the Director General of the Food Directorate, in the Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada. Dr. Godfroy explained what his office is doing to enhance the protection of Celiacs in Canada.
On August 4th of 2012, the new labeling mandates will come into effect! This is great news! As of that date, manufacturers must either clearly list gluten-containing ingredients in the ingredients list OR it must be included in the “Contains” list. There will be no more guesswork.
Dr. John Lynch is the Executive Director of the Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. I am happy to say he was also our next speaker.
Dr. Lynch explained what his office has done and is doing about the labeling of items as gluten free. His office is ensuring that if something is labeled gluten free that it is actually gluten free.
As most of you already know, Celiac has been linked to type 1 diabetes in a big way. Our next speaker, Dr. Fraser Scott spoke to us with his seminar “Celiac disease as a model for understanding autoimmune diabetes.”
Dr. Connie Switzer and Jim McCarthy were up next with their “Professional Advisory Board Report”
Then Dr. Tariq Iqbal spoke about Celiac disease Arthritis.
Sunday morning, I woke up very tired with a slight headache.
I went to the conference center for breakfast and stayed long enough to hear Dr. Peter Green speak about “What’s new in adult and pediatric celiac disease”
Dr. Green was interesting but my head was starting to really pound, so I left. I had a 5 ½ hour car trip ahead of me.
About our hosts:
Our Master of Ceremonies was Laurence Wall from CBC Radio. He was a wonderful Master of Ceremonies – he is also Celiac.
I would like to thank June Williams, Conference Chair and all of the other Ottawa Chapter Members who made this conference the great success that it was. They put a lot of time and hard work into this endeavor and it showed.
I would also like to thank the various sponsors, especially El Peto Products for providing the bulk of our meals.
The conference center staff were all very polite, friendly and helpful – thanks to all of you as well.