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Today Marks the Finalization of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Gluten-Free Labeling Regulation


Scott Adams

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Today marks the finalization of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Gluten-Free Labeling Regulation, which will assure consumers that all products labeled gluten-free in The United States must follow standardized governmental guidelines.

Photo: CC--mandbergNearly 10 years ago, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) required the labeling of the top eight allergens in food. A second and separate part of FALCPA required the FDA to define regulations for labeling products as gluten-free. After exhaustive investigation, two public comment periods, and extensive meetings with the Gluten Intolerance Group as well as other interest groups, this ruling provides standards for labeling products designed to protect the health of persons with gluten-related disorders who require a medically prescribed gluten-free diet for their health.

The ruling sets the safety threshold for labeling products gluten-free at 20 ppm or less, and defines the use of ingredients and labeling terms. Manufacturers are being encouraged to comply with the regulation as soon as possible. The FDA standard is consistent with the Codex Alimentarius labeling guidelines set by the World Health Organization. The United States now joins the ranks of several major countries around the world that have adopted similar standards, including the European Union and Canada. Since 2011, The United States' gluten-free food industry has doubled annually in size and is projected to reach $8.5 billion by 2015, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. The Gluten-Free Labeling Regulation allows for numerous new products to be safely available to consumers in this ever-expanding marketplace.

"This ruling provides assurance to consumers that products labeled gluten-free are truly safe for persons requiring a gluten-free diet," states Cynthia Kupper, RD, Executive Director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.

The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America applauds the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) completion of the Gluten-Free Labeling Regulation and is encouraged to see this triumph in standardization for the gluten-free community.

About the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG)
GIG has been serving the needs of the gluten-free consumer for 39 years through its social and food industry programs, which provide education and support for living healthy gluten-free lifestyles. These programs include the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, Gluten-Free Food Service Certification, as well as the international Chef to Plate Gluten-Free Awareness Program, which is conducted with restaurants in several countries. GIG also offers many educational programs and materials, support groups, and summer camps. To learn more about the Gluten Intolerance Group visit www.Gluten.net.

Contact: Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director (253-833-6655)

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I had a migraine for 200 days straight with a food that had 20 ppm of gluten but was labeled gluten-free. It took forever to figure out that it was that particular food item causing the problem (after tons of medical tests, including a brain MRI) because of the gluten-free labeling. Sorry FDA, but gluten-free should mean NO gluten.

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I have mixed feelings about this rule. While it is a step towards improving daily lives of people with gluten sensitivities, its is a tiny whinny itsy bitsy, almost microscopic step, and it took how long to acomplish?

 

What will make a large step would be to include barley, malt and rye in the list of allergens required to be listed as such in lables, just like wheat is listed right now.

 

What would make an even better HUGE step forward would be to label REQUIRE gluten-containing (at least more than 20 ppm) foods to be labeled: "Celiacs: Contains Gluten", just like the warning in the products containing aspartame say "Phenylketonurics - Contains Phenylalanine."

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When I do the math, it is the total amount of gluten that is the issue ~ NOT the parts per million. If I have a large amount of soup that has 20 PPM I will have ingested significant total gluten ~ if I add some small amount of seasoning to that soup the PPM of gluten are not much worry. A listing of total gluten intake per serving is the only number I absolutely need to know. The 20 PPM seems, on cursory and in detail examination, to be a sell-out to the big-dog manufacturers

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The labels should say: "almost gluten-free, but not!" or "somewhat gluten-free, but not!" or "Really close to gluten free, but not!" How about "close enough for government work to gluten-free." Buuuut nooo! That would be TRUTH in labeling. MAD magazine should have a heydey with this mess of a "guideline." It shows exactly how much the FDA really cares: they seem to, but upon examination: NOT. Politically correct? Hogwash! Who were the consultants on this mess? It seems like they caved. After such a long wait, we get crumbs and are supposed to be deliriously happy. Oh, joy. I think it's worse now, because we cannot believe their labeling. It is false! How hard is it to keep wheat, rye, barley, malt, and oats OUT of a product so it can be TRUTHFULLY called free of gluten. Isn't that what this is all about, for heaven's sake?!?! Use corn starch instead of flour. Use some gluten-free flour...what? there's gluten in it?!? May FDA reap what they sow: lies. They truthfully make me (and many others) sick.

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