The Health Canada website reports that registration has been completed to permit the use of “gluten-free” claims for gluten-free oats and foods that contain these gluten-free oats as an ingredient. The definition of gluten-free oats from Health Canada is for oats that are less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
The Marketing Authorization permits the use of gluten-free claims under certain conditions, including:
The food contains no oats other than specially produced “gluten-free oats”;
The finished product does not contain greater than 20 ppm of gluten from wheat, rye, barley or their hybridized strains;
The food contains no intentionally added gluten from wheat, rye, barley, or their hybridized strains; and
The “gluten-free oats” are clearly identified as such in all cases where ‘oats’ are referenced, including in the list of ingredients.
This move is a significant one for gluten-free consumers as it will let them know through specific labeling that the oats have been specially produced and tested to the 20ppm or less standards. Oats have been a long debated topic among consumers with celiac disease and/or other gluten intolerances since they are often grown, harvested, and transported with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley.
Prior to seeking the “gluten-free” claim from the Canadian Marketing Authorization (MA), Health Canada conducted consultations on their scientific opinions and notice of intent from November 2014 to January 2015. Registration of the gluten-free claim on oats was completed by Health Canada on May 19, 2015.
Canadian GFCO (Gluten-Free Certification Organization) certified Manufacturers have long awaited this day.
To learn more about this significant registration for the benefit of gluten-free consumers, see the entire news release on the Health Canada site.