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NAMA Commends FDA for Defining "Gluten-Free," Good for the Industry, Good for Consumers

August 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – August 5, 2013: The North American Millers’ Association commends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clearly defining “gluten-free.” The definition is important for consumers’ understanding and industry usage of the term gluten-free. Under the FDA definition, oats may be used as an ingredient in a food labeled as “gluten-free” provided that the food contains less than 20 ppm gluten. Oat producers who take the necessary steps to limit the gluten content of oat containing products now have a mechanism to communicate that benefit to consumers.

Guidance on whether oats should be consumed by individuals with celiac disease has been controversial for many years. NAMA appreciates FDA’s thoughtful consideration of the nutritional contribution of oats in the diets of celiac patients and commends FDA for not including oats on the list of prohibited grains.

Gluten-free diets are critical for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. They are also helpful for those with allergies to wheat. There is no scientific evidence that suggests a gluten-free diet can provide health benefits for the general population. Research has shown that gluten is actually helpful for healthy gut bacteria in individuals who can tolerate it. For the vast majority, going gluten-free is unnecessary.

NAMA is the trade association of the wheat, corn, oat, and rye milling industries. Member companies operate mills in 38 states and Canada, representing more than 90 percent of total industry production capacity.

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The North American Millers’ Association prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact NAMA at 202.484.2200 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Terri Long, Secretary, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 825W, Washington, DC, 20024 or call 202.484.2200 ext. 11. NAMA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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