FDA Finally Shows Movement Towards “Gluten Free” Labeling
With all the political gridlock in Washington these days, it should come as no surprise to any American that it takes a while to get things done. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration is no exception to this rule.
For years, food makers have been able to brand their products as being “gluten free” without any oversight from the federal government. Because gluten-intolerant people experience varying levels of sensitivity to the substance, this has created many problems for those living with this issue.
Fortunately, it appears that the FDA is finally getting its act together. The FDA has recently opened the commenting period on a bill that could be pushed into legislation by late-2012.
What is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, occurs when a person cannot absorb the gluten that is found in whole grains like barley, wheat, and rye. This causes irritation and damage to the intestines, and can cause great displeasure for those who live with it.
The FDA’s challenge is to find a way to allow food makers to market their products as “gluten free”, while accurately ensuring customers that the product will not aggravate their condition.
The new bill calls for a maximum of 20 parts per million of gluten within any product for it to qualify as “gluten free”. Any more than that, and a company would be committing false advertising if they attempt to present their product as safe for those with gluten intolerance.
Under the new bill, non-grain products will not be allowed to be sold as “gluten free” food, because they are inherently devoid of gluten. This will help educate the public about which types of food actually propose threats to gluten-intolerant people, and will stop food makers from taking advantage of customers who are unaware of Gluten’s function in a normal diet.
While the bill won’t be voted on until late 2012, it seems that the FDA is finally headed in the right direction and may soon put many minds at ease over the trustworthiness of the “gluten free” claims on food packaging.
Looking for a gluten-free recipe to try? How about Gluten Free Carrot Cake recipe made with coconut flour? What are some of your favorite gluten-free recipes? Let us know in the comments below.