Boulder Brands Applauds FDA’s Decision To Standardize Gluten-Free Labeling, Creating Safer Shopping Environment For Consumers
Boulder Brands commends the FDA’s decision today to standardize gluten-free labeling. Glutino and Udi’s, Boulder Brands’ gluten-free brands and trusted pioneers and leaders in gluten-free living, have spent years advocating for the FDA to create this mandate. This announcement directly impacts millions of Americans who need to live a gluten-free life because of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other medical conditions. According to the 2013 Glutino Survey for Gluten Free Labeling, the FDA’s mandate satisfies the overwhelming majority (92 percent) of consumers who believe there needs to be a clear set of guidelines for what can be labeled gluten-free.
The rise in celiac disease diagnoses and the increase in consumers who eat a gluten-free diet have heightened consumer awareness about gluten-free living. In fact, according to the Glutino survey, 80 percent of Americans are aware that the number of people needing a gluten-free diet is growing, and one in five live, or know someone who lives, a gluten-free lifestyle.
“We are thrilled by the FDA’s decision to regulate gluten-free labeling, something Glutino and Udi’s have been supporting for several years,” said TJ McIntyre, executive vice president for Boulder Brands. “This is bigger than products or brands, this is a consumer safety issue. For Americans with celiac disease, eating gluten-free foods is the only treatment, as there are no medications available to them. Creating a uniform definition for what gluten-free means across all products will enable them to safely and easily navigate through the ever-expanding gluten-free product aisles.”
The FDA’s regulation mandates that in order to label a product “gluten-free,” it must contain less than 20 parts per million—or .002 percent—of gluten. Prior to today, there was no regulated threshold for how much gluten could be in a product labeled gluten-free.
“Glutino and Udi’s products currently contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten, which is well below the guidelines announced by the FDA,” said Steve Hughes, Chairman and CEO of Boulder Brands. “Although this standardization brings no changes to the way our brands make their products, it does validate our commitment to provide consumers with safe, gluten-free options that they can trust.”
The regulation is already garnering praise from medical professionals and researchers across the country, including Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. Dr. Fasano has been supporting and advocating for gluten-free labeling regulations since 1993.
“This long-awaited announcement about the final implementation of gluten-free labeling regulations is terrific news,” says Dr. Fasano. “Now our patients will be able to manage their health with the proper tools they need to make educated choices about the food they are buying.”
According to the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA), celiac disease is not age-dependent, or confined to a particular race or gender. At this time, it is estimated that 95 percent of people with celiac disease remain undiagnosed.
“Information is a critical tool for managing one’s health care. With the labeling requirements announced today, consumers who read the words ‘gluten-free’ on a label will know they are tied to a strict standard. This will help to ensure that Americans with celiac disease have accurate information to determine if products are safe to consume,” says Andrea Levario, executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance.
Gluten-Free by the Numbers
*1 in 133 Americans (or three million) have celiac disease
- *95 percent are undiagnosed
- *Millions more have a gluten sensitivity
- *One in five Americans live, or know someone who lives, a gluten-free lifestyle
- *92 percent of Americans believe there needs to be a clear set of guidelines for what can be labeled gluten-free
- *86 percent of consumers have seen gluten-free products offered in their supermarkets
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Currently, more than two-thirds of Glutino and Udi’s consumers are committed gluten-free users, meaning they eat only gluten-free foods.