ABA commends FDA in clearly defining gluten free. This new rule based on sound science establishes a threshold of 20ppm and will assist people with celiac disease in making informed purchasing decisions. It also is a good opportunity to remind the others that a gluten free diet is not recommended for the general population. In fact, research has shown that cutting gluten out of the diet can negatively impact gut health. Specifically, the new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry.
It requires that, in order to use the term "gluten-free" on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”
The new regulation becomes effective 30 days after the publication date. Manufacturers will have a year after that date to bring package labels into compliance. After this date, any food product labeled “gluten-free” that does not meet the criteria established in the final rule, including a food that contains 20 ppm or more gluten, would be deemed misbranded and would be subject to regulatory enforcement action.
Below are links to FDA resources on the new regulation. Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact Lee Sanders at 202-789-0300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.