Earlier this month Health Canada released an interesting document to the public titled “Health Canada’s Position on Gluten-Free Claims.” The document discusses new gluten-free labeling regulations in Canada, which will go into effect in less than 2 months. You can read the 6 page document here.
As of August 4, 2012, section B.24.018 of the Food and Drug Regulations will state that:
“It is prohibited to label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food if the food contains any gluten protein or modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, referred to in the definition “gluten” in subsection B.01.010.1(1).” By August 4, 2012, labels for all food products sold in Canada will be obligated to carry clear identification of the priority allergens, gluten, and added sulphites at levels that are greater than 10 ppm.
Health Canada reaffirms the research results of 2008 research studies, which indicate that 20ppm (parts per million or milligrams per kilogram) or 10mg of gluten consumption per day is safe for those with celiac disease.
According to Health Canada, “Based on the available scientific evidence, Health Canada considers that gluten-free foods, prepared under good manufacturing practices, which contain levels of gluten not exceeding 20 ppm as a result of cross-contamination, meet the health and safety intent of B.24.018 when a gluten-free claim is made. Based on the enhanced labeling regulations for allergens and gluten sources, any intentionally added gluten sources, even at low levels (e.g. wheat flour as a component in a seasoning mixture which makes up a small proportion of the final food), must be declared either in the list of ingredients or in a “Contains” statement. In these cases, a gluten-free claim would be considered false and misleading.” If, however, a manufacturer using a cereal-derived ingredient includes additional processing steps which are demonstrated to be effective in removing gluten, then the food may be represented as gluten-free.”
There is no question that labeling regulations are advancing in Canada and the USA. Do you think the government in either country is doing enough to protect its celiac citizens?