Unfortunately, this isn't a yes or no question. Regulations recently changed. And in the near future, foods will be able to be labeled “gluten-free” if they are foods that are inherently gluten-free or do not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt, wheat, rye, barley); 2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or 3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. To be labeled "gluten-free" the food must contain less than 20 ppm.
But even when this regulation goes into effect food with up to 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten will be labeled gluten-free. What if you were to eat several foods or several servings of food all containing these small amounts of gluten? Have a few servings of one food and get 40 ppm and then another serving with 20 ppm of another food and it all starts adding up. I wonder how much gluten an average gluten intolerant person may be ingesting in a day of foods considered to be gf.
My family and I are highly sensitive to gluten, so we strive to eat foods that are inherently gluten-free. Small amounts like the proposed 20 ppm do affect us.
Another thing for those highly sensitive to gluten to consider is whether or not the facility that manufactures the food also processes food with gluten or other allergens. Often then the supposed gluten-free food can become cross-contaminated with gluten or other allergens. We prefer to purchase only those products produced in dedicated gluten and allergen-free facilities. To truly understand why this is important, watch this video detailing what Kinnikinnick needed to do when purchasing a facility that once was used to produce wheat based waffles.
Like I said, unfortunately, it's not a yes or no question. And I'd also add that if you eat a food that is labeled "gluten-free" and you don't feel your best after eating it, trust your body. It is always the best indicator of which foods you should be eating and those you'd be better off avoiding.