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Perrigo launches new gluten-free labeling initiative


ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Monday announced it will implement a new labeling program to help consumers more clearly identify more than 200 of the company's over-the-counter store-brand medicines that are gluten-free, starting in January 2010.

"Our retail customers can continue to rely on Perrigo to pinpoint and act on consumer trends,” stated Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa. “This includes the growing list of individuals who need to know whether or not a product is gluten-free."

The new initiative will include all of Perrigo's best-selling categories, including pain relievers, cold-and-allergy and antacids. The company already has more than 200 dietary supplements that are part of a similar labeling program.

To support the gluten-free labeling initiative, Perrigo has instituted a gluten-free assurance program. Perrigo's program is based on the acceptable thresholds of gluten (less than 20 parts per million) identified by the Food and Drug Administration for the food industry. It is comprised of a gluten testing methodology for raw materials and products, as well as ongoing quality assurance for ingredient and formula changes.

Perrigo initiated the labeling program specifically in response to an increasing market demand for gluten-free products.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is estimated that in the United States, 1-in7 people have a gluten intolerance, and three million people suffer from celiac disease – a condition where it is medically necessary to consume only food and medicines that are gluten-free.

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