What New ‘Gluten-Free’ Label Regulations Could Mean For You

By Jane Wolkowicz, Delight Editorial Assistant 

For those of us who know the experience of standing in the supermarket trying to de-code a food label all too well, life could be about to get a bit easier.

New rules for labeling food products are passing through the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) today, meaning that under FDA regulation, manufacturers will be allowed to label their products as gluten-free as long as it doesn’t contain the following:

· An ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barely, or crossbreeds of these grains
· An ingredient derived from these grains that has not been processed to remove gluten
· An ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if the results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million gluten
· 20 ppm or more of gluten

Since 2005, the FDA has been pushing for these regulations as more and more Americans adopt a gluten-free diet. (Their regulations will also push for dietary supplements to be labeled as gluten-free.)

“Eating gluten doesn’t bother most consumers, but some people with Celiac Disease have health-threatening reactions. They need to know whether a food contains gluten,” Dr. Stefano Luccioli, an FDA allergist and immunologist, said in a statement.

Unfortunately for the public, this is an expensive process. Labeling products as could cost the U.S. economy $100 million or more, including costs to the FDA to regulate uniform standards and to companies who need to make sure that their products comply.

So, you can imagine just how carefully the OIRA will consider this measure. But for those with food allergies, the ease of grocery shopping for gluten-free products with clear, safe labels would certainly be priceless.

Read more about the proposed regulations here: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm265212.htm#How_Is_FDA

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I wonder what the label is actually going to look like?

Sat, March 2, 2013 @ 9:11 AM

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What about food that is labeled gluten free, but cross contaminated during three manufacturing process? Case in point, I saw some protein bars recently that were labeled"gluten free", but then had a disclaimer on the back that it was processed on shared equipment with gluten containing items. Not cool.

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