For the last several years I, and I am sure many of you, have been watching as the Food and Drug Administration takes on gluten. First it began with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 – but only the word wheat affects us there (no barley, rye or possibly oats – sorry if the label doesn’t tell me the oats are gluten-free I will just assume they’re contaminated).
However this summer, the FDA is expected to announce its decision about how companies will handle their volunteer labeling of the words “gluten-free”. According to the Celiac Sprue Association, the FDA should be in its final stages now. It is conducting a survey to celiacs and non-celiacs about different wording on labels:
” The study will survey a group of 5,000 adults on their perceptions of characteristics related to the claims of ‘gluten-free’ and its allowed variants. The survey will also gauge perceptions of claims such as ‘made in a gluten-free facility’ or ‘not made in a facility that processes gluten-containing foods’. The study will also assess consumer understanding of ‘gluten-free’ claims on foods that are naturally free of gluten. Finally, the study will gauge consumer reaction to a product carrying a gluten claim along with a statement about the amount of gluten the product contains.”
The FDA is also considering 20 PPM as the maximum standard for gluten in “gluten-free” food. This standard has already been approved by the The Codex Alimentarius Commission -a joint effort of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Tell us what you think!
I have been hearing many different opinions on the potential 20 PPM rule in the last 6 months, and I want to know what you think! I have created a 4-question survey for a future post and I would love for you to take it and tell us what you think! Take the survey now.