As of August 5, 2014, FDA-regulated foods bearing a "gluten-free" label must adhere to the definition of the term put in place by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Manufacturers of products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that claim to be gluten-free must now abide by specific standards put in place by the government entity. The terms of the rule were finalized in August 2013, but the deadline for manufacturer compliance (August 5, 2014) has now arrived.
Members of the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities have mixed emotions about the ruling, with some claiming the rule is not strict enough to protect those on a medically-necessary gluten-free diet, while others are happy to see some progress being made. Alice Bast, President and CEO of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), told the Associated Press that she believes the gluten-free trend has had a positive impact because it has increased the variety of products available in the store, but acknowledges that the trend has made some companies lose sight of the people who need the options the most. But, she added, the rule put in place by the FDA is "raising awareness that there is a disease associated with the gluten-free diet."
NFCA encourages people living with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity ('gluten sensitivity') to educate themselves on the meaning of the gluten-free labeling rule by visiting our comprehensive web section focused on the FDA's ruling. Since the ruling is voluntary and does not require manufacturers to test products bearing a gluten-free label, it is essential that consumers understand the ruling and how to report mislabeled products and other complaints. Specific details on complaint reporting are also included in NFCA's dedicated web section.
To read the Associated Press article about the ruling, visit the Huffington Post.
“Opinions Aside: Why We Should Celebrate the FDA Gluten-Free Labeling Rule,” an editorial by NFCA President and CEO Alice Bast from August 2013