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After years of discussion, the FDA has now put their foot down when it comes to gluten-free products. Products that have "Gluten-Free" on their packaging have to meet specific requirements, and companies that claim some products are gluten-free without meeting the requirements are now getting fined.
Kitchenette Jezebel reports that the gluten-free products must have less than 20 parts per million of gluten, which is already fairly standard in various other countries. The new regulations and fines do not apply to restaurants, but restaurants are often times under much more scrutiny than general food products in supermarkets.
CBS Philly notes that the guidelines are voluntary, but there are consequences to companies who do not wish to follow them, including deadly ones in regards to people who are required to live with gluten-free foods.
“If someone with Celiac disease has anything with over 20 parts per million, it sets off an auto immune reaction, and leads to long-term health consequences such as cancer and even reproductive health issues," Carrie Bast, spokeswoman for Dorney Park, said. It is recommended that companies and consumers alike pay close attention to food labels.
According to ABC News, gluten-free products generated $10.5 billion in sales last year alone.