They reported that the FDA has established guidelines for manufacturers of gluten-free foods, which regulates the term. As of a few days ago, labels for “gluten” foods have a real meaning in the United States. Until then, the term “gluten-free” was not regulated, and processed food manufacturers decided for themselves what it meant. This new requirement is especially important for people who have celiac disease and do not absorb nutrients properly. They can get sick from gluten found in wheat and other grains.
Under a rule announced a year ago, food manufacturers had until a few days ago to ensure that any product labeled “gluten-free” contained less than 20 parts per million of the protein, ensuring that those products were technically wheat, rye and barely. This amount is generally considered low enough by the medical community for people who have Celiac disease Don’t feel bad about consuming it.
Celiac disease causes abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, and sufferers may suffer from weight loss, fatigue, skin rashes and other long-term health problems. The new standard will prevent companies from marketing hang tags “gluten-free” if they are contaminated by the production of other products in the same facilities. The rules do not apply to restaurants.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the body charged with promulgating the regulations that finally define the term. According to the FDA, the lack of regulation has allowed manufacturers to avoid listing barley and rye, which could cause serious reactions in celiac sufferers.
Source: AP and La Nación (Costa Rica)