Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's Next...gluten free ice?

I have to say that I am amazed at all of the products that are being labeled gluten free these days. Most people thought the new labeling law and the upcoming definition of gluten-free by the FDA would have the exact opposite effect. I recently saw it on a jar of peanut butter and a box of tea bags. What's next..gluten-free ice?

While it is important to read labels on product to check their gluten-free status, I feel some companies are going a little overboard. The gluten-free status should be reserved for products that are being tested in a professional lab to ensure there is less than 20 parts per million of gluten; however, more and more companies are just slapping the label on their products without doing any testing. These are the companies that should label their products 'made with gluten-free ingredients'.

This over aggressive labeling is leading to confusion and many questions from consumers. Some people really don't know the difference between a product that has been tested and one that has not, so they believe the products are 'safer' if they contain "Gluten Free" on the packaging. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

I would ask that as a manufacturer you are proactive and make sure your products are actually in compliance with the proposed 20 parts per million requirement being established by the FDA. People who follow the gluten-free diet are very loyal consumers, so show us how trustworthy you are and we will be a consumer for life.

Being gluten intolerant/sensitive is not a choice, it is a required life style change that we will be with us forever. Make sure you are not 'poisoning' us and work to keep your products safe.