Monday, January 12, 2009

More bad GF news

This is not exactly new news. I think it is important enough to share, though. Wellshire Farm is a company that, among other things, markets to the GF and food allergy community. After a few wheat-allergic children had severe reactions after eating their products, the Chicago Tribune bought a few of their products that were advertised as GF and sent them off to be analyzed. The result? Not GF. Not by a long shot. The products tested anywhere from 119 ppm to 2200 (!) ppm. The US does not currently have a standard for a safe level of gluten, nor is there an official definition of what gluten-free actually means. (So, technically, WF did nothing wrong.) It looks like the wheels are in motion to set a standard, though, and it's looking like it will be set at around 20 ppm.

WG was not "glutened" by these products. They are sold through the Wellshire Farms website as well as at Whole Foods stores. What really makes me mad is that being allergy friendly is one of the main selling points of the WF website.

This bit of news coupled with my recent discovery about the reformulation of several products by Campbell's has me wanting to purge my kitchen of everything except visually identifiable single ingredient foods. I'm frustrated.

If you need to eat gluten free, always read the label. Call manufacturers often. If a product is labeled "gluten free" check to see if it is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization. The GFCO standard for gluten free is less than 10 ppm. Only a small amount of GF products on the market are currently certified as GF. If we vote with our pocketbooks and buy the products that are, more manufacturers will follow suite and get certified. This is crucial for the health and safety of people with celiac disease because, as we can see, a product claiming to be gluten free is not necessarily gluten free enough.

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