What does gluten-free mean to you?

According to Food Safety Australia New Zealand regulations standard code 1.2.7., gluten-free food means “The food must not contain

(a) detectable gluten; or

(b) oats or their products; or

(c) cereals containing gluten that have been malted, or their products”.

No detectable gluten means the level of gluten allowed in food in Australia and New Zealand is a lot lower than permitted in other parts of the world.

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The difference between Australasian regulations and ones that dominate the rest of the world is a contentious issue.  The issue can be seen as a divide between those who accept the scientific view that 20 ppm is a scientifically acceptable level of gluten in food suitable for people with a gluten related disorder including Coeliac/celiac disease, contrasted with people on the other side of the divide who believe that no change to Australian and New Zealand regulations is necessary.  Some people think that the optimum level of gluten in food may lie somewhere between the two views.

The Gluten Management Association (GMA) www.gluten.management.association.international  supports the view that regardless of the minimum acceptable level for gluten in Gluten-free foods, maintaining systems to manage gluten and gluten-free foods is the most effective approach to take.

Please share your thoughts on the controversy.