Costa Rica’s Celiacs Still Unprotected

Happy Monday everybody.

In light of the FDA’s movement towards setting up gluten-free regulations for US products, some news about another country where celiacs aren’t so lucky.

According to Inside Costa Rica, Costa Ricca’s president Laura Chinchilla recently vetoed a bill proposed to aid those with celiac disease. The government cited concerns about, “contradictions that could generate confusion and excessive requirements, for example in the publication and registration of products free of gluten.”

On the one hand, bad legislation is worse than no legislation at all. On the other, Costa Rica doesn’t have the outside certification organizations that we’re so lucky to have here in the US. So finding consistently safe food as a citizen seems to be a Herculean task. Hopefully those who drafted the bill will be able to streamline things and Costa Rican celiacs will have an easier time eating safely soon.

And what is it like to be a celiac in Costa Rica? On the positive side, many of the nation’s typical dishes are naturally not-inclusive of gluten. And it seems that there are many reports of successful vacations by celiacs from other countries. There also seems to be a celiac association, and although the most recent newsletter on their site is quite old their facebook page is current (and they were NOT pleased with the president’s decision).

Have you been to Costa Rica and eaten gluten-free? Were you making your own food, or eating out? How was your experience?

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