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Update on the Use of "No Gluten Containing Ingredients (NGCI)" From the Food Standard Agency

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The UK Government has been working with its contacts within the European Commission on the issue of labelling statements that read "No gluten containing ingredients" (NGCI). This is in the light of the Regulation (EU) No. 828/2014, on specific requirements on the absence of reduced presence of gluten in food, which took effect on the 20 July 2016 and Regulation (EU) No. 609/2013, on food for specific groups, which repeals Regulation (EU) No.41/2009, on the composition and labelling of foodstuffs suitable for people intolerant to gluten, also on that date.

Discussion between the Food Standards Agency, the Commission and other EU Member States confirmed that from the 20 July 2016, while the requirement for food businesses to label foods "gluten free" or "very low gluten" shall remain, NGCI and other factual statements in addition to those mentioned in Regulation (EU) No.828/2014 cannot be used in any food labelling (please see Annex below which includes what statements can be used).

This means from 20 July 2016 when marketing foods which are naturally free of gluten by their specific nature or composition, but not "gluten free", food businesses will need to confine the information they provide to consumers about gluten to the information as prescribed by the Regulation. This outcome follows the gluten labelling rules moving from the EU legal framework on foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS) to the legal framework on general food information and labelling as governed by Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011. Please note, all FSA advice and guidance on NGCI on the website will be amended to reflect this change.

We appreciate that due to time factors for some particular situations it will be difficult for some food businesses to satisfy the change immediately after July 2016. This may include instances where a food business has prepared multiple stocks of food labels in advance which include the words "no gluten containing ingredients". In such circumstances, we would encourage the food business and the local food enforcement body to work together and for a reasonable, graduated and proportionate enforcement approach to be adopted.