Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Nut-free. Peanut-free. Allergen-free. The food marketplace increasingly features such claims on product labels, but what do they mean? Do regulatory agencies police use of such terms?
According to the January 2015 “Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition” report from Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD, from 2009–2014, sales of gluten-free products in grain-based categories posted a 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
August marked the completion of the gluten-free labeling rule development process. Published in August 2013 by FDA, the final rule put parameters around the voluntary use of the terms “gluten-free,” “free of gluten,” “no gluten” and “without gluten” on food labels.
As a dietitian and mom, I know first-hand that whole-grain breads and snack products have lots of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer.
Last month, I had the opportunity to offer testimony in support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to modestly scale back the amount of ethanol required to be produced under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).