Does FDA ever intend to take public enforcement action against manufacturers misbranding products gluten-free that list malt ingredients?

Does FDA ever intend to take public enforcement action against manufacturers misbranding products gluten-free that list malt ingredients?

As of May 23, 2022, FDA has not taken any public enforcement action on misbranded products labeled gluten-free yet listing malt, malt extract, malt syrup, or malt vinegar in the ingredients (all made from barley unless another source is declared, such as corn malt).

On February 23, 2022, Gluten Free Watchdog sent a letter to Susan Mayne, PhD, Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The letter stated in part:

“We are deeply concerned that the gluten-free labeling rule (21 CFR § 101.91) is not being enforced by FDA… There has not been any public FDA enforcement action for misbranded products labeled gluten-free listing a barley ingredient, namely malt, malt syrup, malt extract, or malt vinegar… The stated objective of FDA’s regulatory programs is to assure compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. As a community, we would like to hear from FDA... Does the agency intend to take enforcement action against manufacturers labeling products gluten-free that list malt, malt syrup, malt extract, or malt vinegar in the ingredients?”

While Dr. Mayne’s office replied that our letter was shared with relevant experts, we have not received a response to our central question. Please help urge FDA to respond. Take 5 minutes to send an email, postcard, or tweet to Dr. Mayne asking: Does FDA intend to take public enforcement action against manufacturers misbranding products gluten-free that list malt, malt syrup, malt extract, or malt vinegar in the ingredients?

Email: Susan.Mayne@fda.hhs.gov

Address:

Susan Mayne, PhD

Director, CFSAN

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740-3835

Twitter: @DrMayneFDAFood

Thank you!

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Comments (4)

  • Lucille
    Reply

    What about maltadextrin as that isn’t gluten and wheat free either nor is dextrin either there are actually alot that can make people ill if they consume these products including myself who has now had ceoliac for 23 years

    May 24, 2022 at 4:56 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Maltodextrin, dextrin, etc are allowed in foods labeled gluten-free. They are made from wheat starch versus a protein ingredient (malt ingredients are protein-containing ingredients). If you want to avoid wheat-based maltodextrin, etc., look for the word wheat in the ingredients list or Contains statement. Under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, if an ingredient in a food product contains wheat protein, this must be declared on the food label. If an ingredient list includes maltodextrin but wheat is not declared, the maltodextrin is not derived from wheat.

      May 24, 2022 at 7:31 pm
  • Mary Miller Reply

    And while we are at it, how about please listing the erythritol that is made from FERMENTED WHEAT as well? It’s hard enough to get your food ‘right’ then find out your sweetener is at the culprit of the problem as well.

    May 26, 2022 at 5:26 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is produced via fermentation. While wheat straw and glucose from hydrolyzed wheat starch have been mentioned in the scientific literature as possible substrates, I have not seen a wheat protein ingredient mentioned. Can you please provide a source for your information? Thank you.

      May 27, 2022 at 1:39 pm

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