Nearly a decade after the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) was passed the FDA has finally issued a final ruling on what the label “gluten-free” means.
The law states to be able to make a claim of “gluten-free” on a product package, the food must either be inherently gluten-free or cannot contain a gluten containing grain. If a grain has been processed to remove gluten, then gluten cannot be present at more than 20 parts per million (ppm). Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
The law applies to food and dietary supplements.
Manufacturers will have a year to comply.
Important to note:
The gluten-free label is voluntary. This means that a product labeled gluten-free will not necessarily be safer than a product with no label.
The law is about designating what products are allowed to use a gluten-free label. There is no requirement to include an ingredients notice that a product does contain gluten. This is a significant difference from the way the FALCPA works.
For more on what the gluten-free labeling laws might mean to those with food allergies, check out my prior post on this topic.
Better late than never? What do you think?