Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
The FDA released a final statement today regarding the maximum amount of gluten that a product labeled "gluten-free" can contain. For the three million Americans with Celiac disease, foods containing gluten can trigger the production of antibodies that can damage the small intestine. The ruling, therefore, is meant to ensure that Celiac patients — and those who are gluten-sensitive, or simply prefer to avoid it — can buy food that is safe for them to eat.
This ruling comes after many years without a standard for gluten-free labeling. Sales of gluten-free products have tripled since 2008, making the category difficult to moderate without an official ruling from the government — and frustrating for customers looking to decrease their gluten intake. This final ruling sets a gluten limit of 20 parts per million in products labeled gluten-free.