FDA defines new rules for labels on gluten free foods
Until now manufacturers of food products labelled "gluten free" have been able to use their own discretion on how much gluten a gluten free product actually contains, although the Gluten Codex Alimentarius has had a current level of 20ppm (parts per million) since 2008.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have today released a federal definition standardising the term "gluten free" across the food industry. In order to be labelled "gluten free" a food must meet the following requirements within 12 months of the regulation becoming effective:
•Be inherently gluten free or does not contain a gluten containing grain e.g. spelt wheat •Does not contain a gluten containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten e.g. wheat flour •Is not derived from a gluten containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten e.g. wheat starch, if the use of this ingredient results in 20ppm or greater of gluten present •Contain less than 20ppm of gluten
This new rule applies to all FDA regulated foods and dietary supplements. The new rule also applies to foods that use alternative terms such as "no gluten", "free of gluten" and "without gluten". Though does exclude foods regulated by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture e.g. meats, poultry and some egg products, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau e.g. alcoholic beverages. It also applies to all foods imported into the U.S. that are labelled "gluten free".
This will be of huge benefit to celiac disease sufferers, especially as currently "hidden" ingredients such as barley and rye can slip under the fence, whereas wheat must be labelled. Cross-contamination issues should also be eradicated as food products will be unable to be labelled "gluten free" if they are made in the same process line as products containing gluten.
If you would like to read the full details on the new rules see the links below, which also contain some very useful interesting information on celiac disease/gluten free food requirements in general.
References/more info: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm363474.htm http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation>GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm362510.htm http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm363069 http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm362880.htm