Tax and Trade Bureau OKs Use of ‘Gluten Free’ on Spirits Packaging

Corn may not be gluten free, but thanks to distillation, whiskey is. The federal Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, announced it would now permit the verbiage “gluten free” on packaging of distilled spirits, wines and malt beverages.

The move aligns with the Food and Drug Administration final rule permitting “gluten free” labeling claims on distilled products made from gluten-containing grains.

When that ruling, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States worked with TTB to incorporate the same into TTB’s gluten-free policy. 

In a news release, TTB noted:

  1. TTB is continuing to authorize the term “gluten-free” if the product would be entitled to make a “gluten free” labeling claim under the definition in FDA regulations.
  2. In light of changes to FDA’s regulations, TTB is revising its policy to allow the term “gluten free” for distilled spirits distilled from gluten-containing grains as long as good manufacturing practices are followed that prevent the introduction of any gluten-containing material into the final product.
  3. TTB is continuing to allow labels and advertisements for products fermented from gluten-containing grains to bear a claim that the product was processed (or treated or crafted) to remove gluten, if the claim includes an appropriate qualifying statement and necessary documentation is available to substantiate the claim.
  4. The ruling does not require any changes to approved labels. Instead, it allows greater flexibility for industry members who wish to make voluntary “gluten free” claims on labels or in advertisements of distilled spirits distilled from gluten-containing grains, subject to the conditions of this ruling.
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