Make Your Voice Heard: Tell the FDA We Need Clarity on the Use of Malt in Products Labeled Gluten-Free

January 22, 2016

Make Your Voice Heard: Tell the FDA We Need Clarity on the Use of Malt in Products Labeled Gluten-Free

Deadline extended!Take action today and tell the FDA clarification is needed before the docket closes on April 25, 2016.

What’s the Issue?

Based on the number of manufacturers we have seen using malt as an ingredient in gluten-free products, there seems to be confusion by manufacturers surrounding the use of barley malt in products labeled gluten-free. Based on several statements made by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since they passed their ruling on gluten-free food labeling in August 2013, we understand that malt is not allowed in products labeled gluten-free in the United States, regardless of what these ingredients test at.

We applaud the work of Tricia Thompson, MS, RD of Gluten-Free Watchdog on this topic and join her in calling for the celiac disease community to voice their concerns to the FDA.

The FDA has an open docket asking for public comment on its ruling regarding the use of hydrolyzed and fermented ingredients in gluten-free foods, so this is a great vehicle to ask the FDA to provide definitive language on barley malt to the industry.

How Should I Respond?

We are asking the FDA to make it clear to manufacturers that the use of barley malt ingredients is notsafe for people with celiac disease. You can support this call to action by posting a comment that asks the FDA to “state clearly and directly in a Q&A to manufacturers that barley malt and barley malt extract as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations are not allowed in foods labeled gluten-free.”

You can access the docket through this link. Be sure to reference the comment submitted by Thomson by referring to FDA-2014-N-1021-0067. Simply follow the link in this paragraph and select the blue “Comment Now” button in the upper right hand corner of the web page. Act now. The deadline has been extended until April 25, 2016 (previously set for February 16, 2016).