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Celiac.com 01/25/2017 - The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) has initiated a public comment period on gluten-free labeling in England. The FSA is inviting industry feedback on the proposed Gluten In Food (Information for Consumers) (England) Regulations 2017. This regulation enforces the new European Union regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 828/2014), which standardizes labeling information on products that are gluten-free or very low in gluten. The law does not require any change in formulation, ingredients or the methods for these products, but does mandate new wording for product labels. It also clarifies for consumers the difference between foods naturally free of gluten, and those specially formulated for people with gluten intolerance. The proposed rule applies to England only, not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. The rule change is, in part at least, a response to rising numbers of product complaints. According to the FSA, approximately 1% of the UK population (around 600,000 people) suffers from celiac disease, while nearly half a million people remain undiagnosed. Currently, food businesses are permitted to make voluntary gluten-free or low in gluten claims, but this has led to inconsistency and confusion in many cases. Such confusion could cause health problems for those who are gluten-intolerant. Many of these products also fetch a premium price because of their gluten-free claims, stated the FSA. The aim of the English regulation is to standardize the permitted claims about gluten. Manufacturers will be limited to the use of the words "gluten-free" or "very low gluten" along with clear and limited supporting information. No other claims or descriptions are allowed, and products that fail to conform to labeling standards can be fined. The previously accepted phrase "No gluten containing ingredients (NGCI)" can no longer be used on product labels. Enforcement of FSA rules will take effect February 20, 2018.
Celiac.com 03/22/2016 - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the period for public comments on a proposed rule for fermented and hydrolyzed foods, or foods that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients, and bear a "gluten-free" claim. FDA is extending the comment period for the proposed rule on gluten-free labeling for fermented or hydrolyzed foods by 60 days. The agency originally introduced the Proposed Rule for Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented or Hydrolyzed Foods on November 18, 2015. The original public comment period was set to end on February 16, 2016. The new closure date for public comments will be 60 days after a notice appears in the Federal Register. The new rule's Federal Register Docket Number is FDA-2014-N-1021, and the relevant Federal Register Docket Name is: "Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented or Hydrolyzed Foods." The proposed rule does not require or establish standards for "gluten-free" labeling. Instead, it establishes compliance methods for fermented and hydrolyzed foods, or foods that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients that bear a voluntary "gluten-free" labeling claim. Source: Lexology.com
Celiac.com 08/02/2011 - 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 (celiac disease) and invites comment on these additional data. One of the criteria proposed is that foods bearing the claim cannot contain 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten. The agency based the proposal, in part, on the available methods for gluten detection. The validated methods could not reliably detect the amount of gluten in a food when the level was less than 20 ppm. The threshold of less than 20 ppm also is similar to “gluten-free” labeling standards used by many other countries. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. About 1 percent of the United States population is estimated to have the disease. “Before finalizing our gluten-free definition, we want up-to-date input from affected consumers, the food industry, and others to help assure that the label strikes the right balance,” said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods. “We must take into account the need to protect individuals with celiac disease from adverse health consequences while ensuring that food manufacturers can meet the needs of consumers by producing a wide variety of gluten-free foods.” The proposed rule conforms to the standard set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, which requires that foods labeled as “gluten-free” not contain more than 20 ppm gluten. This standard has been adopted in regulations by the 27 countries composing the Commission of European Communities. The FDA encourages members of the food industry, state and local governments, consumers, and other interested parties to offer comments and suggestions about gluten-free labeling in docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 at www.regulations.gov. The docket will officially open for comments after noon on Aug 3, 2011 and will remain open for 60 days. To submit your comments electronically to the docket go to www.regulations.gov 1. Choose “Submit a Comment” from the top task bar 2. Enter the docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 in the “Keyword” space 3. Select “Search” To submit your comments to the docket by mail, use the following address: The Division of Dockets Management HFA-305 Food and Drug Administration 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061 Rockville, MD 20852 Include docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 on each page of your written comments. For more information Federal Register Notice (scroll to FDA--temporary link will update when document publishes on Aug. 3): http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 Gluten-Free Portal (scroll to Gluten-Free): http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodLabelingGuidanceRegulatoryInformation/Topic-SpecificLabelingInformation/default.htm#gluten FDA’s Proposed Rule on the Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods: http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodAllergensLabeling/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm077926.htm Questions and Answers on the Gluten-Free Labeling Proposed Rule: http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodLabelingGuidanceRegulatoryInformation/Topic-SpecificLabelingInformation/ucm265309.htm Consumer Update on the Gluten-Free Labeling Proposed Rule: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm265212.htm Source: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm265838.htm