A Consumer Update from the FDA
In August of last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule that defined what characteristics a food has to have to bear a label that proclaims it “gluten-free.”
The rule also holds foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten” to the same standard.
Manufacturers had one year to bring their labels into compliance. As of August 5, 2014, any food product bearing a gluten-free claim labeled on or after this date must meet the rule’s requirements.
Without a standardized definition of “gluten-free,” these consumers could never really be sure.
This rule was welcomed by advocates for people with celiac disease, who face potentially life-threatening illnesses if they eat the gluten found in breads, cakes, cereals, pastas and many other foods.
Andrea Levario, executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance, notes that there is no cure for celiac disease and the only way to manage the disease is dietary—not eating gluten.
Without a standardized definition of “gluten-free,” these consumers could never really be sure if their body would tolerate a food with that label, she adds. Continue reading