Celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) is an autoimmune condition in which the inner surface of the small intestine becomes damaged, leading to reduced absorption of all nutrients. As many as one in every 133 Americans may have the condition, and people with Type 1 diabetes are 10 times more likely than people without Type 1 diabetes to have it.
If you have celiac disease, or any other form of gluten sensitivity, you’ll be pleased to hear that the US Food and Drug Administration recently set a standard definition for the meaning of “gluten free” on food labels: Foods purporting to be gluten free must have no more than 20 parts per million of gluten (about an eighth of a teaspoon in of floor in 18 slices of gluten-free bread, according to this National Geographic article). This is the same standard used by Canada and the European Union, and was determined by the FDA to be a safe level for most people who need to avoid gluten.
Manufacturers must comply with the new standard by August 5, 2014.
This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.