Because of the FDA's long delay on gluten-free regulation (finally announced in August 2013), many third-party labels surfaced to help guide shoppers. When buying gluten-free foods, look for labels by The Celiac Spruce Association, The Gluten-Free Certification Association, and NSF/QAI.
Current gluten-related claims on foods and other products range from “no gluten ingredients used” to “free of gluten,” “no gluten,” “made in a gluten-free facility,” and more. No wonder shoppers are confused. After moving at a glacial pace on defining gluten free, the FDA finally announced in August 2013 a standard of 20 parts per million (ppm) for gluten-free food claims. However, manufacturers have until August 5, 2014, to comply, and labeling will be voluntary.
Fortunately, nonprofit agencies have already stepped up to certify products with even stricter standards. To buy with confidence, look for these three gluten-free labels.
The Celiac Sprue Association
The Celiac Sprue Association’s gluten-free mark indicates 5 ppm and limits ingredients to “risk-free” choices (not containing wheat, rye, barley, oats, or their derivatives) in product, processing, and packaging.
The Gluten-Free Certification Organization
The Gluten-Free Certification Organization, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group, certifies to less than 10 ppm, using two rigorous standardized testing methods. More than 13,000 products carry the seal.
Organic certifier and its parent organization, 70-year food safety expert NSF International, created this seal, which ensures compliance to 20 ppm. QAI also provides “bundled” certifications with organic, eco-social, and more.