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Ludicrous Gluten-Free Rules Unfair to Brewers And Consumers

Ludicrous Gluten-Free Rules Unfair to Brewers And Consumers

New labelling rules set to come into force that will stop breweries from calling their beer gluten-free will hurt both brewers and consumers, the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) says.

From January 2016 it is suggested all alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.15% alcohol will be subject to new rules about “nutrition content claims” on the label.

This includes gluten-free, meaning beers brewed for the enjoyment of drinkers who are intolerant to gluten will no longer be able to be advertised as so.

SOBA president David Wood says the guidelines, published by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), will result in even less choice for gluten-intolerant people who already struggle to find a beer they can drink.

“If implemented as it stands this standard would not only remove gluten free beers from the market, but also prevent coeliacs sufferers from enjoying beer. This goes directly against SOBA's vision of people having access to a diverse range of quality beer.

“The term "gluten free" should be viewed by the MPI and FSANZ as allergen information. It is NOT a health claim. The fact that "low carb" (which IS a health claim) is allowed, while "gluten free" is not is outrageous.”

If breweries are unable to advertise their beers as gluten-free, then they will stop making them as they will become impossible to market.

SOBA has contacted MPI about the issue but is yet to hear back. It is happy to work with MPI and FSANZ to ensure gluten-free beers are not legislated out of the market.


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