- Foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten” are all held to the same standard
- Foods must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to be declared gluten-free
- Gluten-containing grains that have been processed to remove gluten (such as Omission and Estrella Damm Daura beers) can be labelled gluten-free as long as they are tested and show less than 20 parts per million of gluten
Food producers have a year to meet the new guidelines. The FDA estimates that about 5% of foods in the United States that are labelled gluten-free actually contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten, so Americans may see fewer gluten-free foods on the shelves.
These guidelines are similar to Health Canada’s position statement on gluten-free labeling.
This comes on the heels of a recent announcement by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (the American equivalent to the Canadian Celiac Association) that they are partnering with the CCA in their gluten-free certification program, ensuring consistent gluten-free certification in both countries. This certification process is much more rigorous than the gluten-free labeling rules, requiring extensive auditing, interviewing, and testing.