FDA defining what "gluten free" means on packages - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

FDA defining what "gluten free" means on packages

Posted: Updated:
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    DETROIT (AP) - General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, also didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and f...More >>
    DETROIT (AP) - General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, also didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and f...More >>
  • One injured during skydiving in Mercer County

    One injured during skydiving in Mercer County

    GROVE CITY, Pa. One person was flown by medical helicopter from Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County after a rough landing.Emergency crews responded to the skydiving center at Grove City Airport around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.21 News is told the victim's parachute did open, but the man was injured during the landing.His condition is not known at this time.More >>
    GROVE CITY, Pa. One person was flown by medical helicopter from Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County after a rough landing.Emergency crews responded to the skydiving center at Grove City Airport around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.21 News is told the victim's parachute did open, but the man was injured during the landing.His condition is not known at this time.More >>
  • Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.  Vehicles are often using the same lanes as Amish buggies and localMore >>
    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.More >>

WASHINGTON (AP) - A label that reads "gluten free" will now mean the same thing for all food, regardless of which kind you buy.

After more than a six-year delay, the Food and Drug Administration has set a new standard for labels that will make shopping easier for consumers on gluten-restricted diets. Until now, the term "gluten free" had not been regulated, and manufacturers made their own decisions about what it means.

Under an FDA rule announced Friday, products labeled "gluten free" still won't have to be technically free of wheat, rye and barley and their derivatives. But they will have to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

That amount is generally recognized by the medical community to be low enough so that most people who have celiac disease won't get sick if they eat it.

People who suffer from celiac disease don't absorb nutrients well and can get sick from the gluten found in wheat and other cereal grains. Other countries already have similar standards.

Celiac disease affects up to 3 million Americans. It causes abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, and people who have it can suffer weight loss, fatigue, rashes and other long-term medical problems. Celiac is a diagnosed illness that is more severe than gluten sensitivity, which some people self-diagnose.

Only a very small number of people wouldn't be able to ingest the amount of gluten that will be allowed under the new rule, FDA officials said.

"Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life," FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said. "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."

The new FDA rule also would ensure that foods with the labels "no gluten," ''free of gluten," and "without gluten" meet the definition. Manufacturers will have a year to comply, though the FDA urged companies to meet the definition sooner.

Ten years ago, most people had never heard of celiac disease. But awareness and diagnosis of the illness has exploded in recent years. It's not entirely clear why - some researchers say it was under-diagnosed; others say it's because people eat more processed wheat products like pastas and baked goods than in past decades, and those items use types of wheat that have a higher gluten content.

Many companies that market gluten-free foods already meet the standard. But Andrea Levario of the American Celiac Disease Alliance said the federal guidelines will cut down on painstaking shopping for those who suffer from celiac disease.

Levario said that wheat must be labeled on food packages but that barley and rye are often hidden ingredients in food. The standard will also ensure that companies can't label products "gluten-free" even if they are cross-contaminated from other products made in the same manufacturing facility. She said shopping can be like "playing Russian roulette" for people who have celiac.

"This will eliminate confusion for the consumer and will cut down on calls to companies to try and determine whether their products are safe and gluten free," she said.

Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods, said the rule originally proposed during the George W. Bush administration was delayed because the agency was evaluating what standard was correct.

"We wanted to do a careful scientific assessment of the data and the range of sensitivities," Taylor said.

Congress originally directed the FDA to set the standards in 2004 as part of a larger law that required food packaging to list major allergens. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., originally introduced a bill calling for the standards in 1999. She praised the FDA rules and called them "a long time coming."

In the decade since Congress considered the standards, gluten-free foods have become big business. Millions of people are buying the foods because they say they make them feel better, even if they don't have celiac disease. Americans spent more than $4 billion on gluten-free foods last year, according to the American Celiac Disease Alliance, and a major manufacturing survey issued this week suggested that the niche industry is giving an economic boost to the food industry overall.

One of the largest manufacturers of gluten free foods, Boulder Brands, said it has been seeing double-digit growth in sales and is looking at expanding into bigger markets. The company's brands, Glutino and Udi's, already meet the new standards.

"We expect the new regulations to impact sales in a positive way as consumers can feel more confident in their gluten free choices," said T.J. McIntyre, executive vice president of the company.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:52:53 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms