FDA releases guidelines on gluten-free food labeling

A gluten-free item cannot contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten.

Aug. 5—After years of waiting, the Food and Drug Administration released new rules Friday defining exactly what "gluten-free" on a food label means. The standardized definition will help the 3 million American who have celiac disease, along with millions more who follow a gluten-free diet for other reasons.

Under the federal definition, which FDA has been working on since 2007, food that carries a "gluten-free" label must contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.

With the new rule, when consumers see "gluten-free" on a food label," they can be assured that those claims have meaning," said Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.