After years of waiting, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the U.S. Gluten-Free Labeling Regulation today!
This ruling officially sets the safety standard to label U.S. products gluten-free if they contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.
The new labeling law assures consumers and businesses that all products labeled gluten-free in the United States will now follow standard government guidelines. Food packages from manufacturers will be required to comply with the new U.S. gluten-free regulation within one year.
The FDA standard is also consistent with the Codex Alimentarius labeling guidelines set by the World Health Organization. The United States joins the ranks of several major countries around the world that have adopted similar gluten free standards, including the European Union and Canada.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) required the labeling of the top eight food allergens in the U.S. These allergens include wheat, milk, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and crustacean shellfish which went into effect in 2006.
A separate part of FALCPA required the FDA to define regulations for labeling products as gluten-free. During the past 7 years, investigations, meetings, public comment periods, and consumer petitions supported by many celiac and gluten free interest groups have taken place.
In 2012, the gluten free market was estimated to be $4.2 billion and is expected to reach $6.6 billion in sales by 2017, accordingly to research by Packaged Facts. The U.S. Gluten-Free Labeling Regulation allows for these food products to now be safely and consistently labeled gluten-free and available to both consumers and businesses in this ever-expanding marketplace.