FDA's New Labeling Rule is in Effect
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Aug 8 2014

FDA’s New Labeling Rule is in Effect

The FDA’s new labeling rule is in effect as of August 5, 2014. What does this mean? It means that all manufacturers of FDA regulated foods must adhere to the FDA’s definition of “gluten-free” if the product has a gluten-free claim on the package. The rule is voluntary, which means that manufacturers are not required to call out gluten on a label, but must adhere to the FDA rules if they claim the product is gluten-free.

What are those rules? Those rules state that a food labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20ppm gluten, but manufacturers are not required to test said food. There is no way to guarantee zero gluten, as there are currently no testings methods that test that low. In addition to the words “gluten-free”, the following labels must also adhere to the rules:

  • no gluten
  • free of gluten
  • without gluten

These labels do not have to adhere to the rule:

  • made with no gluten-containing ingredients
  • not made with gluten-containing ingredients

There is a lot more information regarding this ruling, FAQs and such on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website. One of the FAQs talks about wheat starch being allowed to be present in a food that is labeled “gluten-free” so long as the finished product registers less than 20ppm gluten. I personally avoid foods with any ingredients like this, so it is good to know that I still need to read ingredient lists to make sure I am not ingesting anything that contains wheat starch.

What are your thoughts on the new rule going into effect? Will this make your life easier? More complicated? Not affect you in any way? Please let us know!

Article Written by:

Kimberly Bouldin is a gluten-free wife, runner & blogger with two children in Columbus, Ohio. After her celiac diagnosis in 2006, she has made it her mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition in a gluten-free world, exploring options that run the gamut from "made from scratch" homemade bread to sampling and reviewing the gluten-free prepared foods that are continuously being introduced to the market. While navigating the waters of becoming gluten-free, Kim shares her experiences and passes along valuable product reviews in addition to helping other moms of celiac kids develop healthy menus that are kid-friendly and palatable. Kimberly is a valuable resource for those who are newly diagnosed, as well as for the more seasoned gluten-free veterans. Follow Kim on Twitter!


  1. Donna says:

    This may be a baby step forward. How does a manufacturer know that their product is under 20 ppm if not tested? Does the FDA test it?

  2. Cynthia says:

    Anything that creates greater adherence to laws governing gluten free foods and drugs is a step in the right direction. Now why can’t they test it prior to it getting to the consumer? Do they have to test food items to determine if they are free of dairy products?

  3. Meghan says:

    I think this could be a HUGE issue! There are people that are sensitive up to 1 crumb of food. How do they know if its under 20ppm if it isn’t tested??

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