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Gluten-Free Food Ingredient Labeling Regulations
Two promising new gluten-free beers meet major standards for gluten-free labeling, but a government agency says they cannot be labeled gluten-free. Who's right?
Even though public awareness of celiac disease is growing thanks to the recent surge in popularity of gluten-free dieting, gluten-free is still an uncontrolled term. The FDA proposed a < 20ppm gluten rule for gluten-free labeling in 2007 and reopened the proposed rule for comment last August, but many feel that too little is being done too slowly to control labeling of gluten content in foods.
Coeliac UK, Britain's leading celiac disease organization has finalized an agreement for all European countries to use a single universal gluten-free symbol on the front of all packaging for gluten-free products.
There should be a gluten-free standard by now, but there is not. In 2004, Congress passed a law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to define the phrase 'gluten-free' by 2008. That deadline passed with the FDA providing no such definition, and we still have no official ruling today, in 2011.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today reopened the comment period for its 2007 proposal on labeling foods as “gluten-free.” The agency is also making available a safety assessment of exposure to gluten for people with celiac disease (CD) and invites comment on these additional data.