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  • Jefferson Adams

    FDA's Gluten-Free Product Standards Take Effect

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Image: Wikimedia Commons.
    Caption: Image: Wikimedia Commons.

    Celiac.com 08/21/2014 - It’s official! Since August 5th, 2014, all packaged foods sold in the U.S must comply with new federal rules for labeling foods as "gluten-free." That means that all packaged food claiming to be "gluten-free" must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

    Image: Wikimedia Commons.The FDA finalized the rule in August 2013, and gave food manufacturers one year to comply. The rule went into full effect on August 5, 2014. The new standard applies equally to all products labelled “gluten free,” “no gluten,” “without gluten,” and “free of gluten.”



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    Until this rule went into effect, many food and product manufacturers were applying the term ‘gluten-free’ in myriad ways, some questionable. Moreover, consumers needing gluten-free food for medical reasons had no good way to know if the label was accurate, or if the food posed a potential risk to their health.

    Currently, the new gluten-free standard applies all foods and dietary supplements regulated by the FDA. The rule, however, does not apply to most alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, prescription and non-prescription drugs, pet food, or to foods regulated by the USDA, such as meat or poultry.

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    How stupid that these gluten-free products contain gluten, does not say much for the experts as coeliacs cannot have additives or derivatives.

    FYI: The new FDA standard matches the European standard. Also, there is currently no way to test for "zero" levels of gluten. Moreover, numerous clinical studies show that gluten levels below 20ppm do not trigger adverse gluten reactions in people with celiac disease. So, as "stupid" as you may find the standard, it is, nonetheless based on scientific evidence and reality. What is your statement based on?

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    How stupid that these gluten-free products contain gluten, does not say much for the experts as coeliacs cannot have additives or derivatives.

    Contrary to what you seem to think, In reality, there is no such thing as a TOTALLY gluten free diet if you are eating any kind of grains or cereal. For example:

     

    'The term ‘gluten-free' implies no gluten, but in practice a zero level does not exist. It is impossible to eat a zero gluten diet, because even naturally gluten-free cereals such as rice can contain up to 20 ppm or 20mg/kg of gluten. Research shows that this tiny amount of gluten is not toxic to people with celiac / coeliac disease who can eat unlimited amounts of products with gluten at a level of less than 20ppm.'

     

    http://glutenfreepassport.com/living-gluten-allergy-free/food-product-labeling/

     

    A detailed but highly technical/scientific account of how the FDA determined the 20 ppm to be the maximum permitted for

    food products to be labelled gluten-free can be found on the

    FDA web-site:

     

    Health Hazard Assessment for Gluten Exposure in Individuals with Celiac Disease: Determination of Tolerable Daily Intake Levels and Levels of Concern for Gluten

     

    http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens

    /ucm362510.htm

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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