Israel to encourage production of gluten-free foods

Health Ministry announces new policies aimed at reducing food costs for Celiac sufferers and widening variety of available foods.

Shlomo Pyutrikovsky ,

Grocery shopping
Grocery shopping

Israel's Health Ministry announced on Sunday the completion of a process which will reduce the prices of gluten-free foods.

The proposal was put forward by a special inter-ministry committee headed by Health Ministry Deputy Head Professor Itamar Gruto and including representatives from the Health, Economy, and Finance Ministries, as well as from the National Insurance Institute.

The committee examined the reasons for the high price of gluten-free foods, and decided on a series of actions which will reduce the price of gluten-free foods and reduce the financial burden on Celiac Disease sufferers and their families.

Among the committee's suggestions was to provide financial support to factories producing gluten-free foods, in order to encourage competition and reduce the cost to the manufacturers. This alone will cost the Israeli government a total of 9 million NIS.

In addition, regulations on gluten-free foods produced in Israel and abroad will be reduced, to encourage imports and competition and reduce the cost to the consumer.

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) said, "This is an important social process, which recognizes the rights of those suffering from Celiac Disease, as well as society's obligation to provide them with gluten-free food.

"We are already beginning to see a change in pricing, and we will continue working to help Celiac sufferers. I think the Finance and Economics Ministers for their cooperation and for helping this process, which is for the good of the Israeli public."

Gruto said, "This process will widen the range of gluten-free foods which are available, as well as reduce prices, in order to enable Israeli Celiac sufferers to access the quality food they need at a reasonable price."