BREAKING NEWS: FDA defines “gluten-free”

In a long-overdue move, the FDA today released their definition for gluten-free foods. No longer will you wonder, it has no gluten ingredients but is it really free of gluten?

While labeling remains voluntary, it provides a uniform standard definition of “gluten-free” to aid the 3 million Americans with Celiac Disease.

The definition “gluten-free” requires that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Anyone using the labels “no gluten,” “free of gluten” and “without gluten” must meet these same standards.

Manufacturers have one year to bring their products into compliance.

This move by the FDA was triggered by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, which requires that the FDA set guidelines for the use of the term “gluten free” to help people with Celiac disease maintain a gluten-free diet.

Not mentioned in the FDA announcement is the controversy over what level of gluten-exposure is safe for Celiac’s. Recommendations are often less than 5 ppm gluten. Most tests are sensitive to only 10 ppm gluten (hence the controversy over Omission beer, which removes gluten from beer to below 10 ppm but some report still triggers Celiac symptoms). Is 20 ppm really a safe definition for Celiac’s?

xoxo

Gluten Free Vermont

New about the FDA Guidelines:

FDA news release

New York Times

Celiac Central

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