F.D.A. Sets New Standards for Gluten Free Food Labels

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great July 2013 and is ready for August because it is here! With the new month comes new regulation from the F.D.A., specifically pertaining to the standard gluten limit of 20 parts per million in products labeled gluten free. This regulation is the culmination of a process started in 2004, when Congress first passed a law that called on the Food and Drug Administration to set standards for how much trace gluten could be in foods labeled gluten free. The regulation was published today in the Federal Register. 

What this means is that there is now a standardized definition for the meaning of "gluten-free" claims across the food industry. It now requires that the only way to use the term "gluten-free" on its label, a food must meet all requirements of the definition as well as contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This also applies to the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten”. The news of this regulation brings a sense of ease to those with Celiac Disease, a gluten intolerance or who are just following a gluten-free diet. Dr. Alessio Fasano, the director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, called the ruling issued on Friday a "big deal" because it will give people who have to eat gluten free confidence that what they are eating will not make them sick.

Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the F.D.A., said that the F.D.A. first proposed the 20 parts per million standard in 2007. He said that most food companies have used that limit as a guide for their products even before the new rule was published. You can read more about the new regulation by the F.D.A. on their website and the New York Times. A good day for the Celiac and gluten free community! For better living, -Bill