Interim policy outlines requirements for labeling an alcoholic beverage as “gluten-free.”
The following is a press release published by the TTB.
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, May 24, 2012, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued a Ruling (TTB-Ruling 2012-2) providing guidelines for labeling alcohol beverages with gluten content claims.
TTB understands that there is a desire both on the part of consumers and industry members for information regarding the gluten content of alcohol beverages. Consequently, TTB has issued a Ruling to allow industry members to provide interested consumers with the best available information regarding the gluten content of their products so that those consumers may make an informed decision about whether to consume the product. Because products made from ingredients that contain gluten may, despite processing to remove gluten, still contain gluten that cannot be detected using available testing methods, the Ruling distinguishes between products that are made from ingredients that contain gluten and those that are not.
TTB will not allow products made from ingredients that contain gluten to be labeled as “gluten-free.” Because TTB is concerned about the potential health consequences associated with the consumption of gluten by individuals with celiac disease and, because there are currently no scientifically valid testing methods available to accurately measure the gluten content of fermented products, we will only allow these products to be labeled with a statement that they were processed to remove gluten but that the product may still contain gluten.
TTB will allow products made from ingredients that do not contain gluten to be labeled as “gluten-free,” if the producer takes appropriate precautions to ensure against the introduction of gluten into the product during processing.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently engaged in rulemaking regarding gluten labeling. Upon issuance of a final rule by FDA, TTB will evaluate whether the interim policy set forth in this ruling should be revised.
TTB Ruling 2012-2 may be found online at: http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2012-2.pdf
For more information on TTB, please visit www.ttb.gov.