People who avoid gluten soon will have a federal standard behind gluten-free food labels.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday published a new regulation – eagerly awaited by those suffering from celiac disease – that defines the term “gluten-free.” Packages that carry that term can have no more than 20 parts per million of gluten.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that can be managed only by avoiding gluten. Even a bite of bread with gluten can make someone with celiac disease sick for a couple of weeks. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye.
“Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health.”