Americans will soon be able to more easily find foods that won’t upset their celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that prevents one from digesting gluten. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently set rules for gluten-free foods.
The new guidelines set standards for foods that claim to have “no gluten,” are “free of gluten” or are "without gluten” and require products to carry a “gluten-free” label if it contains 20 parts-per-million of gluten or less. Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, barley and rye that can make those with celiac disease very ill when consumed.
“These new consumer protections are a victory for families coping with celiac disease,” said U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey. “Nearly a decade after the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law, I am pleased that our federal government has finally set clear, uniform standards that will rein in a fast-growing, unregulated market and provide consumers and families the tools they need to protect their health.”
The guidelines take effect in one year, however food companies are encouraged to follow the news standards as soon as possible.
“For the millions of Americans who suffer from celiac disease, these new standards for gluten-free food labels have been a long time coming,” said Lowey.
The FDA’s new definition for “gluten-free” was required under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, which was authored by Lowey.
“For people with celiac disease, eating food containing gluten can make us very sick,"said President and Founder of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation Linda Freeman, said in a press release. "This critical new federal standard lets those of us coping with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and every shopper in America, know exactly what products are gluten free and safe for us to eat."
Patch’s Facebook fans agree. Here’s what they had to say about the new guidelines:
Jill Catalano Troso: Both of my kids were diagnosed with Celiac disease this year. Our entire family is now Gluten Free. Happy to see the FDA labeling.
Gina Lipscher: I don't have Celiac disease and I think it's very important that the FDA labels should indicate such.
Drew Burrows: All I know is since removing ALL wheat products, amongst other things, from my diet six weeks ago, I've lost 18 lbs.
Mara De Matteo: Why are people allergic to everything these days? How did we survive before we knew about allergies? Too complicated life now unfortunately.
Valerie Candela: Yes the new labeling will help and is long over due. @ Mara our food is genetically engineered and over processed.
What are your thoughts on the new labeling guidelines? Tell us in the comments.