The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). GIG is a 501c3 non-profit organization which empowers the gluten-free community through consumer support, advocacy, and education.
GFCO operates an independent, third-party certification program for gluten-free products. The program does not enforce federal regulations, and is not a requirement for gluten-free product labeling. Rather, GFCO has set a higher standard for gluten-free certification, based on its alignment with GIG, a consumer support organization. GFCO’s focus on consumer safety has made it the most widely used and trusted gluten-free certification mark..
All GFCO certification bodies are accredited to ISO 17065, ensuring that they are operating according to established international best-practices for auditing and product certification.
In 2005, GIG’s leadership recognized a strong need for easy-to-identify labeling of safe, gluten-free products for consumers. Driven by this vision, GIG aligned with several scientific bodies, researchers, and doctors to be at the forefront of developments in the industry. Given the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Codex, along with the knowledge of testing capabilities at the time, the GFCO program was established with a threshold of 10 ppm (parts per million). This threshold was twice as strict as the WHO, Codex, and the now existing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threshold of 20 ppm.
Since the first certification in 2005, GFCO has expanded to having tens of thousands of products carry its certification mark worldwide. Products certified by GFCO abroad must meet their local authority regulations as well as the established GFCO standards.
GFCO and GIG work together to support the gluten-free community. GIG’s work with consumers informs the mission of GFCO, allowing it to focus on the products and practices that are most important. GFCO in turn supports the gluten-free community. This support comes not solely through the provision of a trusted certification mark found on the products that they are purchasing. GFCO also provides support to GIG’s outreach programs, include community support groups, the Generation GF kid’s program, summer camps, and food research. These initiatives are dependent upon GFCO, the companies whose products GFCO certifies, and individual donations.