The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented new guidelines for
labeling packaged foods as gluten-free. According to the new norm, the
gluten-free claim can only be made on foods containing less than 20-parts-per
million of gluten. The rule came into effect last Tuesday.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration announced strict guidelines for
"gluten-free" packaging. But the administration gave manufacturers
until August 5th, 2014 to make the switch.
Those products are crucial to those who have celiac disease. The disease
affects 1% of the American population, but is one of the world's most prevalent genetic
auto-immune conditions. It's a condition that damages the lining of the small
intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for
staying healthy. Gluten, a type of protein often found in wheat, barley, rye,
and possibly oats, can trigger that symptom.
The new regulation makes sure companies can't label products
"gluten-free" if they are cross-contaminated from other products in
the same facility. Food packaging that fails to meet the requirements
"will be subject to regulatory action."
The new regulations don't apply to restaurants, but the Food and Drug
Administration is encouraging them to comply