Two U.S. senators have asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize standards for a 2007 proposed rule for gluten-free food labels. In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) claim the delay is “creating unnecessary confusion for consumers and uncertainty for agricultural producers.” Included as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, the proposed gluten-free labeling rule represents the last time “any significant action on this has been taken,” the lawmakers wrote, adding that “regulatory uncertainty surrounding FDA’s inaction has led to a proliferation of ‘gluten free’ standards and labels provided by 3rd party groups.”

Wyden also issued a July 21, 2011, press release asserting that “accurate and standard” labeling on gluten-free products is essential for those with Celiac disease—“a painful disorder stemming from the inability to properly digest the gluten found in breads.”