Are cosmetics covered under the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule?

Are cosmetics covered under the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule?

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2018,

A series of bites, barks, tail wags, face licks, and pant tugs from Gluten Free Watchdog

May 11, 2018

Gluten Free Watchdog Pant Tug, Post # 11

Note: The photo is of a section of an article written by Thomas Grace and me and published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Click on the photo to read the portion entitled “Ingredients labeling of cosmetics.”

Are cosmetics covered under the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule?

Short answer: No but…

Based on written correspondence with the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, here are a few facts:

  • The presence of gluten does not need to be definitively declared on cosmetic labels.
  • There are no rules or guidance documents specifically addressing the use of the term gluten-free in the labeling of cosmetics regulated by the FDA.
  • The FDA does not, however, prohibit cosmetics companies from labeling products gluten-free.
  • If a cosmetics company does label a product gluten-free and this labeling distinction is found to be inaccurate or misleading, the product may be declared misbranded.
    • Ingredients derived from wheat generally include the terms “wheat” or “triticum vulgare” in the name.
    • Ingredients derived from barley 
generally include the terms “barley,” “malt,” or “hordeum vulgare” in the name.
    • Ingredients derived from rye generally include the terms “rye,” or “secale cereale” in the name.

Consumers, if you come across a labeled gluten-free cosmetic that includes ingredients containing gluten, please contact the certification organization if the product is certified and the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. Their phone number is (240) 402-1130.

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Comments (2)

  • Angelica Reply

    The GFCO can and will certify body care products that are gluten free though. Which I assume requires regular testing.

    May 15, 2018 at 8:47 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Yes, regarding certification. I’m not sure about the testing protocols.

      May 15, 2018 at 8:55 pm

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