The FDA is still having a hard time determining what “gluten free” means, and while I normally wouldn’t side with such a ridiculous government organization, I have to say I can’t blame them. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in the US.
Every time we eat packaged foods, we are putting our well being in the hands of food companies, trusting that they are telling us everything we need to know about the product. The Washington Post recently explained that many companies are not even testing whether or not their “gluten free” foods have gluten in them, while other companies are testing their products, confirming that gluten is present, and STILL labeling them gluten free! Are you kidding?! It’s time for the FDA to crack down on this. In fact, the decision on defining gluten free was supposed to be completed in 2008, but here we are in 2012 still waiting for an answer.
Currently 20 ppm or less of gluten is considered gluten free and GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Once the FDA starts enforcing strict testing for gluten free products, that is the standard they will have to meet. Unfortunately, the severity of my celiac disease causes me to react to only 2 ppm. So what’s the answer here? Buy gluten free products produced in Canada. They have much stricter regulations than we do and make some damn good muffins.