Washington — The FDA has issued a ruling requiring all food carrying the claim “gluten-free” contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Products labeled with the terms “no gluten,” “free of gluten” and “without gluten” must also meet the new requirements.
Manufacturers in the U.S. and importers who use voluntarily use gluten-free labeling have a year to comply with the rule. Foods that are naturally free of gluten, even water, can be labeled, permitting the final product contains less than 20 ppm of gluten.
Directed to issue the new regulation by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, the FDA says it developed the rule to help the three million Americans with celiac disease make easier food choices.
“The term 'gluten' refers to proteins that occur naturally in wheat, rye, barley and cross-hybrids of these grains. In people with celiac disease, foods that contain gluten trigger production of antibodies that attach and damage the lining of the small intestine,” the FDA reports.