It's taken years, but the FDA today finally published its official guidelines for labeling foods as gluten free.
Here is what the agency said in its news release:
This new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry. It requires that, in order to use the term "gluten-free" on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”
Companies have one year from today to comply with the rules.
In case you're wondering, I've been told directly by a leading researcher, Stefano Guandalini of the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center, that the 20 ppm standard is safe.