Gluten-Free Go-Round re: Food Labeling
FDA issued a proposed rule to address the application of “gluten-free” labeling requirements to fermented and hydrolyzed foods and foods that contain fermented and hydrolyzed ingredients. The underlying issue is that uncertainty prevails in interpreting the results of current test methods for detecting gluten in such foods.
On February 12, FDA announced its intent to extend the comment period for this proposed rule. Although the comment period technically closes on February 16, FDA will be reopening it to extend the timeframe for an additional 60 days (to be counted from the date that a notice reopening the comment period appears in the Federal Register).
The proposed rule would affect the labeling of foods and ingredients such as yogurt, hydrolyzed soy protein, distilled vinegar, and FDA-regulated beers (i.e., beers that are not made from malted barley and hops). The rule also could affect beers regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), as TTB has indicated that it may revise its own gluten claim policy once FDA has issued a final rule or other guidance. Interested stakeholders are invited to submit comments via Regulations.gov (Docket Number FDA-2014-N-1021).