BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Boulder Brands commends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision today to standardize gluten-free labeling. Glutino and Udi's, Boulder Brands' gluten-free brands and trusted pioneers and leaders in gluten-free living, have spent years advocating for the FDA to create this mandate. This announcement directly impacts millions of Americans who need to live a gluten-free life because of celiac disease, gluten intolerance or other medical conditions. According to the 2013 Glutino Survey for Gluten Free Labeling, the FDA's mandate satisfies the overwhelming majority (92 percent) of consumers who believe there needs to be a clear set of guidelines for what can be labeled gluten-free.
The rise in celiac disease diagnoses and increase in consumers who eat a gluten-free diet have heightened consumer awareness about gluten-free living. In fact, according to the Glutino survey, 80 percent of Americans are aware that the number of people needing a gluten-free diet is growing and one in five live, or know someone who lives, a gluten-free lifestyle.
"We are thrilled by the FDA's decision to regulate gluten-free labeling, something Glutino and Udi's have been supporting for several years," said TJ McIntyre, Executive Vice President for Boulder Brands. "This is bigger than products or brands, this is a consumer safety issue. For Americans with celiac disease, eating gluten-free foods is the only treatment, as there are no medications available to them. Creating a uniform definition for what gluten-free means across all products will enable them to safely and easily navigate through the ever-expanding gluten-free product aisles."
The FDA's regulation mandates that in order to label a product "gluten-free," it must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten – or .002 percent of gluten. Prior to today, there was no regulated threshold for how much gluten could be in a product labeled gluten-free.
"Glutino and Udi's products currently contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten, which is well below the guidelines announced by the FDA," said Steve Hughes, Chairman and CEO of Boulder Brands. "Although this standardization brings no changes to the way our brands make their products, it does validate our commitment to provide consumers with safe, gluten-free options that they can trust."
The regulation is already garnering praise from medical professionals and researchers across the country, including Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. Dr. Fasano has been supporting and advocating for gluten-free labeling regulations since 1993.
"This long-awaited announcement about the final implementation of gluten-free labeling regulations is terrific news," says Dr. Fasano. "Now our patients will be able to manage their health with the proper tools they need to make educated choices about the food they are buying."
According to the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA), celiac disease is not age-dependent, or confined to a particular race or gender. At this time, it is estimated that 95 percent of people with celiac disease remain undiagnosed.
"Information is a critical tool for managing one's health care. With the labeling requirements announced today, consumers who read the words 'gluten-free' on a label will know they are tied to a strict standard. This will help to ensure that Americans with celiac disease have accurate information to determine if products are safe to consume," says Andrea Levario, Executive Director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance.
Gluten-Free by the Numbers
- 1 in 133 (or three million) Americans have celiac disease
- 95 percent of them are undiagnosed
- Millions more have a gluten sensitivity
- One in five Americans live, or know someone who lives, a gluten-free lifestyle
- 92 percent of Americans believe there needs to be a clear set of guidelines for what can be labeled gluten-free
- 86 percent of consumers have seen gluten-free products offered in their supermarkets
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley. Currently, more than two-thirds of Glutino and Udi's consumers are committed gluten-free users, meaning they eat only gluten-free foods.
About Boulder Brands, Inc.
Boulder Brands, Inc. (NasdaqGM: BDBD) is committed to providing superior tasting, solution-driven products. The company's health and wellness platform consists of brands that target specific consumer needs: the Glutino® and Udi's Gluten Free® brands for gluten-free diets; the Earth Balance® brand for plant-based diets; the Level Life™ brand for diabetic diets and the Smart Balance® brand for heart healthier diets. For more information about Boulder Brands, Inc., please visit www.boulderbrands.com.
About Glutino Food Group
Since 1983, Glutino Food Group has been a trusted pioneer and leader in the gluten free category. Glutino Food Group offers a wide variety of great-tasting, gluten free foods consumers can trust. Products are available in the US and Canada at local supermarkets, natural and organic retailers and on www.glutenfree.com. For more information on Glutino Food Group, visit www.Glutino.com. Glutino Food Group, a division of GFA Brands, Inc., is affiliated with Boulder Brands, Inc.
Udi's Healthy Foods LLC (Udi's) is a leader in the fast growing market for gluten-free foods in North America. Udi's markets a diversified and growing range of gluten-free products under the well-recognized Udi's Gluten Free Foods brand in the retail market, and since mid-2011, food service channels. Udi's Gluten Free Foods is a leading brand in gluten-free bread and bakery products. In addition, Udi's markets other gluten-free products in the frozen pizza and granola categories.
About Center for Celiac Research
The Center for Celiac Research at Mass General Hospital for Children is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients with celiac disease, while learning the cause of the disease and finding a cure. The Center provides comprehensive clinical care and long-term support for adults and children who suffer from celiac disease. Visit www.celiaccenter.org.
About American Celiac Disease Alliance
The nonprofit American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) was established in 2003 as the national advocacy organization for celiac disease in the United States. Unifying patient support groups, researchers, food manufacturers and others serving the community, the ACDA advances policy initiatives to improve the lives of those with celiac disease. The organization spearheaded the grassroots campaign that resulted in the passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.
About the Survey
The 2013 Glutino Survey for Gluten Free Labeling presents the findings of online survey conducted March 11-13, 2013 by Toluna among a demographically representative sample of 1,022 adults, comprising 478 men and 544 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3% at a 95% level of confidence.
Video with caption: "Experts React to FDA's Decision to Establish Gluten Free Labeling Guidelines. Featured experts include: TJ McIntyre, Executive Vice President for Boulder Brands, Laura Kuykendall, Director of Marketing for Glutino, Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston." Video available at: http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/PRNA/ENR/FX-NE57748-20130802-01C.mp4
SOURCE Boulder Brands