Some exciting news in the gluten free world! The Food and Drug Administration has passed new mandates for the voluntary labeling of “gluten free” products. Some additional details are below (in an email I received from We The People) , but the gist is that food manufacturers have 1 year to comply with the new regulations for adding the words “gluten free” to their food labels. Although most products with gluten free labels are in fact gluten free, this new regulation will guarantee that any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
The petition for this began on October 20th, 2012…and the final ruling was passed on August 5th, 2013.
THANK YOU to the 40, 639 people who signed this petition!
Gluten-Free Should Mean Gluten-Free
By Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration
Thanks for your petition. The Food and Drug Administration is a science-based, regulatory public health agency, and as we make determinations on food labeling, we take time to ensure the final standard is the right one.
We’re pleased to share that on August 5th, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration published the final rule defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling, setting an enforceable standard that will benefit people with celiac disease, as well as those with gluten sensitivity.
Manufacturers that use “gluten-free” on their food labels must ensure their foods are either inherently gluten free, or do not contain an ingredient that is:
- a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat);
- derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or
- derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food.
Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
Manufacturers have one year to implement this rule, meaning all manufacturers using a “gluten-free” claim must ensure their labeling is in compliance with the final rule by August 5th, 2014.
It’s important to note that many foods currently labeled as “gluten-free” may already meet the new federal definition, but this rule will ensure greater consistency in labeling – and that’s good news for consumers.
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