Although Celiacs are safe in the United States for now, Australians may need to adjust their eating habits AGAIN. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian food manufacturers are lobbying to increase the permissible amount of gluten in gluten-free processed products.
As most gluten-free eaters are aware, manufacturers in the US are allowed to label products gluten-free as long as they contain less than 10-ppm of gluten protein. This negligible amount cannot be detected by gluten-free eaters, and is therefore safe to consume (for the most part).
Australian companies are currently not allowed to label products as gluten-free if they contain ANY gluten at all. The food companies are hoping to increase the threshold for gluten-free products that contain up to 20 milligrams of gluten per kilogram, which is the current European standard for “gluten-free” goods.
Although scientific evidence supports the notion that 20 mg of gluten per kilogram is virtually undetectable to Celiacs, and therefore safe for consumption, other medical professionals are concerned that consuming the increased amount of gluten could have serious consequences for the gluten intolerant. Without prior exposure to the small amounts of gluten, even a fractional increase could cause serious digestive issues for some Celiacs.
Do you think the change in policy is misleading in terms of what foods are actually gluten-free? If you were living in Australia, would you alter your diet to one filled with whole, naturally gluten-free foods and shy away from the “gluten-free” products?