For quite some time, anyone with celiac disease or avoiding gluten had a difficult time eating. There were few foods that satisfied gluten-free requirements and tasted good. But recently, more and more manufacturers have been producing better tasting, gluten-free foods for a growing customer base. However, so far there has been no official regulation system to categorize what is or isn't gluten-free-manufacturers could theoretically apply that label to whatever they wanted.
Luckily though, the FDA is preparing itself to launch an official gluten-free requirement standard and labeling system. Previously, a company's "gluten-free" products could have as much gluten as 100 parts per million-enough to trigger a reaction for some people. But under the new regulations, an officially gluten-free food can't contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten, a level so small that it can't be detected by standard lab tests.
This is a great step forward for food safety and monitoring by the FDA. It's quite alarming to hear that supposedly "gluten-free" foods could have enough gluten to possibly harm someone and that there was no system for checking on this. But now that the FDA has finally stepped in, gluten-avoiders will be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the "gluten-free" label on the food they buy really means what it says.
The new label is expected to be on products next year.