Monday, July 07, 2008


"Codex Alimentarius" sounds like it could be a product meant only for women, but it's actually an international "food code" developed by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization).

The Codex Alimentarius Commission recently issued a new set of guidelines for defining gluten-free. "The new benchmark dictates that food labeled gluten-free may not contain wheat, rye, barley or oats, and its gluten level may not exceed 20 milligrams per kilogram," states a July 1, 2008 Reuters item.

This represents a significantly more stringent standard for many countries, according to Nancy Lapid, celiac disease specialist at and recent table companion of mine at a dinner hosted by Mary Waldner and Dale Rodrigues of Mary's Gone Crackers.

It is up to individual countries to come up with their official standards, but there is probably good reason to think that many of them will comply with this stricter definition.

Dietitian Tricia Thompson commented on the draft of the revision here.

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