“Gluten-Free” Labels Under New Regulations

Posted on September 26, 2011

Currently unregulated “gluten-free” labels may soon be subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, according to recent news sources.

Gluten is the substance that makes bread rise, keeps it doughy, and provides texture and flavor. Many people have sensitivity to this product, especially those with Celiac disease, a disease that can lead to serious conditions if gluten is consumed.

The FDA would like to define the amount of gluten that can be present in food that claims to be free of the protein. That way, consumers will know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase a “gluten-free” product. They’d like to set the number at 20 parts per million or less, a number that most individuals dealing with celiac can tolerate.

Some individuals who are familiar with the disease are pushing for a label on products containing gluten similar to the one manufacturers put on products containing nuts.

Consumers can expect a decision sometime next year.

As a product liability lawyer, I’m glad to see that the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to protect the health and safety of consumers. In my experience as a product defect lawyer, undeclared allergens can be a serious threat to sensitive individuals.

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