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New FDA Gluten-Free Label Rules Include Dietary Supplements
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Celiac.com 09/12/2013 - Good news for consumers of gluten-free foods and other products: The FDA's new standards for the labeling of gluten-free food and other products apply to all foods and products labeled gluten-free, including dietary supplements and vitamins.
The FDA rules state that any product declaring the contents to be "gluten-free," "no gluten," "free of gluten" or "without gluten," must meet all parts of FDA's gluten-free definition, including the requirement that the food contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
People with celiac disease who consume gluten from wheat, rye, or barley risk gradual damage to the intestines, leading to poor absorption of vitamins and minerals and leading to a host of other health problems, including nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, miscarriages, and cancer," according to Virginia Cox, Associate Commissioner of FDA's Office of External Affairs.
Creating uniform rules and conditions for the use of the term 'gluten-free' in the labeling of foods and other products is "necessary to ensure that individuals with celiac disease are not misled and are provided with truthful and accurate information with respect to foods so labeled, " according to the text of the final rule, which was published last week in the Federal Register.
FDA projects the new requirements will yield annual health benefits of roughly $110 million, compared to estimated annual costs (related to testing and relabeling) of $7 million.
Manufacturers of gluten-free foods and products will have one year to comply with the FDA's labeling requirements.
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