The 3 million Americans who now suffer with celiac disease as well as others who follow a gluten-free diet for other reasons will now be able to truly trust a label when it proclaims a food is gluten free, thanks to new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has been working on these guidelines since 2007 and they now feel the new rules answer many questions and concerns fromt he public.
Gluten, which we hear a lot about these days, is a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley. For most people, this sin’t an issue, but those with Celiac disease find it impossible to digest gluten. As soon as they eat anything containing gluten, their bodies produce antibodies that attack and damage the lining of the small intestine. This can cause serious problems including nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, growth retardation, infertility, miscarriages, short stature and intestinal cancers.
With the market for gluten free foods expected to exceed $6 billion by 2017, proper labeling is of critical importance to both consumers and manufacturers.
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