The Food and Drug Administration seems to be paying attention to celiacs this week. Another statement from them noting that GF is not a diet craze — it’s a necessary medical treatment for a serious condition (which we can all attest to).

FDA says ‘gluten-free’ is not for fad dieters

I mostly assume that this is due to pushback from parts of the food industry who don’t want their statements so heavily regulated. I have certainly heard complaints in the past that stringent labeling regulations for a “fad diet” are annoying to many manufacturers. I am glad to see that the FDA is taking the real issue here seriously.

Anyway, the cause of this FDA activity seems to be because they never actually established labeling regulations in the first place. Looking at the Globe, the previous guidelines mostly left it up to the manufacturers to determine what they meant by GF.

That’s because the US Food and Drug Administration never established a standard for the label, leaving it up to manufacturers to define what they mean by gluten-free.

Now, though, the agency is moving forward with a new standard that manufacturers will be required to meet before they can slap on the gluten-free label. Federal officials are proposing that cookies, bread, and other wheat products making this claim can contain no more that 20 parts per million of gluten, a level below which gluten can’t be detected by standard lab tests.

There are certain “GF” foods that I avoid because I consistently have had reactions to them (for example, a few different brands of rice crackers such as Ka-Me).

I generally follow the rule that when in doubt, buy Canadian. Their labeling regulations are much better and I have never had a reaction to GF food from Canada. Also, it seems like the Québécois are much better at making GF food that *actually* taste good.