First Regulations for “Gluten-Free” Labeling Take Effect

The term “gluten-free” no longer means whatever a manufacturer wants it to mean. As of August 5th, 2014, packaged foods, including dietary supplements, must satisfy federal (FDA) requirements in order to use the label. Among other requirements, products claiming to be gluten-free must now contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten (a level which celiacs can tolerate without any adverse health effects). However, the requirements are voluntary. This means that manufacturers aren't required to make any statements about the gluten content of their products; rather, the regulations apply only if they place the term “gluten-free” on the product packaging. Nevertheless, the new gluten-free standards come as welcome news to the nearly 3 million people in the US who suffer from celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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