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Are Gluten-Free Cheerios Really Unsafe for Celiacs?

Canadian Celiac Association warns against Gluten-Free Cheerios, but is there good evidence?


Should celiacs worry about gluten in Gluten-free Cheerios? Photo: CC--Mike Mozart

Celiac.com 10/26/2016 - There's been a bit of confusion lately over claims by the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) that the optical sorting system used by General Mills to produce gluten-free Cheerios and other cereals is somehow flawed, and their products not safe for people with celiac disease. The CCA has issued a warning to Canadian consumers with celiac disease against eating gluten-free Cheerios products, based on concerns of possible contamination due to a what they say is a faulty sorting process.

General Mills debuted their patented optical sorting process and launched gluten-free Cheerios in the U.S. last summer, and they spent millions of dollars developing the new technology. Later, the company voluntarily recalled nearly 2 million boxes, when a plant mixing error caused wheat flour to mixed with oat flour. However, since that time there have been no known reports of systemic contamination, which is what the CCA is alleging.

General Mills launched five flavors of gluten-free Cheerios in Canada this summer: Original, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate. Clearly, the CCA is looking to protect people with celiac disease from the perceived possibility of gluten contamination, but the CCA's statement goes beyond urging simple caution, and urging celiacs to report any cases of gluten contamination and to save boxes for lab testing.

"Hearing stories…"

Samantha Maloney, former president of the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association, told CBC Radio's All In A Day that the General Mills process of sorting grains to produce gluten-free cereal is "flawed."
She and her group claim that they have made the claim because they have "heard stories." Has Maloney or anyone in her group actually followed up on these claims, these "stories" she's "hearing?" Without offering any proof or names, or scientific data for making her claim, Maloney went on to say that General Mills is having "a bit of a problem" with the way they are cleaning their oats. Is she saying that the product is being contaminated by gluten? It seems so.

Well, if that's true, then surely some celiac suffer who ate Cheerios and had a bad reaction must have a box of cereal that can be tested. If General Mills is churning out box after box of gluten-tainted cereal and labeling it "gluten-free," then it seems like a massive scandal and lawsuit waiting to happen. Maybe some enterprising person, or even a law firm, can go grab some boxes and get them tested, and add some actual evidence to these claims.

One would think Maloney and the CCA would confirm such information beforehand, rather than first making the claim, and then asking people to provide confirmation after the fact. If Maloney's claims are proven true, then General Mills deserves to be called out, and Celiac.com will certainly be among the first to report it.

Until then, saying that General Mills is knowingly using a faulty system to sort their gluten-free oats is simply irresponsible hearsay, and doesn't really help provide accurate information for consumers with celiac disease, something the Canadian Celiac Association claims is part of its mission. It's one thing to urge caution, and to call for testing and evidence gathering that supports any claims of gluten-contamination, but it's entirely another to claim without any evidence a product and process are flawed and likely to harm people with celiac disease.

What happens if the General Mills process turns out to be okay? What happens if Gluten-Free Cheerios and other products are perfectly safe? That means the CCA was not only wrong, they were wrong without even having any facts to support their original claim. How does that help people with celiac disease or the CCA?

Celiac.com continues to support efforts by the CCA and other groups to inform and protect people with celiac disease, but we also urge proper facts, data, context and evidence to support any hard claims about products, gluten-free or otherwise.

Regarding the status of General Mills' patented optical sorting process for producing gluten-free grains for their Cheerios and other gluten-free products, Celiac.com urges caution on the part of individual consumers. Currently there is no evidence to suggest that any of these products not gluten-free, but, there is also no evidence that similar gluten-free oat cereals made by smaller companies do a better job to ensure that their products are safe, yet there is no controversy about them.

Ultimately people with celiac disease should use caution, and, in the event they experience gluten contamination, they should save the box and report it to the Canadian Celiac Association, and/ or any of the other official resources listed on the CCA website:

Stay tuned to celiac.com for information on this and related stories.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).



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62 Responses:

 
David
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 10:09:43 AM PST
I stay away from wheat and gluten because it gives me diarrhea, joint aches, weight and energy loss. After a couple of weeks of eating "gluten free" cheerios (2-3 bowls per day), I developed diarrhea, joint aches, cramps and energy loss. My cereal was from several different boxes and different stores. I got off the Cheerios and those symptoms are gone.

 
deb
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
02 Nov 2016 8:11:17 AM PST
David you may be like me, even <5ppm can affect you.

 
Aims
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 10:39:33 AM PST
Wow, I am just wondering if you managed to talk with Samantha Maloney to verify your own accusations against her. You seem to be accusing her of the same thing that you're doing. And if she is wrong then I would think General Mills are the people who should be coming out with a statement such as this, if in fact she's totally wrong. Knowing that they recalled so much of their own product leads anyone to think that they must take extra precaution if you want to eat their cereal. As we all know, nothing is infallible. Being an extremely sensitive celiac there is no way I'd eat anything from a company that also has wheat in their manufacturing facilities. I've been the recipient of cross-contamination far too often. I say good on Samantha Maloney for warning people of the possibilities. You have to remember, many people are new to this diagnosis and have no idea what is good for them and what isn't.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
31 Oct 2016 11:28:08 AM PST
We are reporting on what Samantha told a major news outlet--CBS. If you were to just go by people's stories about what is safe and what isn't for a celiac diet, your diet would be severely limited. That is though, your choice to make. A major celiac support organization, however, has a higher responsibility to its members, and should require much more evidence to make such claims.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 9:02:43 PM PST
CCA didn't "warn people of possibilities," they said the product was unsafe for celiacs and that General Mills had "problems" with their sorting process. Those are strong claims that require good supporting evidence. We have suggested that people proceed with caution, use individual judgement, and report any problems. So far, I'm unaware of any problems, or reports of problems with any actual supporting evidence. If you know something we don't, then please share. Otherwise, it's one thing to suggest caution, entirely another to say that a product is unsafe.

 
Meg
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 10:39:51 AM PST
I eat them almost every day and so does my celiac daughter. YES, I actually got sick on the recalled ones. I actually looked up the box number online and was shocked because I couldn't figure out what glutened me and was thrilled with their corporate responsibility for the error. NO we haven't gotten sick since. I firmly applaud General Mills for the advances they have made and will continue to enthusiastically endorse their products.

 
LeeAnne
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 5:45:16 PM PST
I can finally eat Lucky Charms again! My once favorite cereal and now my new favorite cereal. I agree with Meg, General Mills is doing their best to get a product to market that we most of us can eat in a responsible way. There must be a difference for some people when a food is certified gluten free verses just labeled as such.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 3:49:48 PM PST
Certified gluten-free products have also tested positive for gluten.

 
dappy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 11:37:39 AM PST
GF Cheerios are FANTASTIC - and they have never made me sick. I was diagnosed in 2007 and have been gluten free ever since. I have been cross contaminated so I would readily recognize it if it occurred after eating Cheerios.

 
Doug
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 12:30:12 PM PST
Less than 20 ppm is NOT gluten-free. I affirmed this years ago, by binging on allegedly "GF" [not!] Chex when they first came out a few years ago, which incited a severe skin reaction. [I have DH, and consider myself a canary in the coal mine of gluten contamination.] I called in the FDA to test , but with their limited resources they were unfortunately unable to detect traces of gluten below 20 ppm. But, the evidence was clear: empirically, Chex was not "safe" for me. The symptoms were unmistakable, and directly related to the ingestion of Chex. I have never purchased another box, and refuse to trust General Mills "GF" product line. Once bitten, twice shy. Caveat Emptor!

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 8:47:26 PM PST
Sorry, but the FDA makes the rules in America and the standard has been established via numerous scientific studies, and extensive consultation and commentary by leading scientists, doctors and even people with celiac disease. There is no good study data to support reaction levels below 20ppm gluten. You said yourself that you "binged" on a processed cereal product. Perhaps your problem has more to do with binging?

 
Jen
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 12:47:27 PM PST
The issue with Cheerios is the mechanical sorting of the oats. That process still has some gluten remaining... it's not a uniform process so some boxes could have more gluten than other boxes. It's not just General Mills using mechanical sorting of oats... many companies use mechanical sorting- that is what should concern people with celiac. No one has to label if their oats were mechanically sorted either. It's important for people with celiac to consume oats from a dedicated oat field.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 3:55:01 PM PST
General Mills has created and patented the technology to do this mechanical separation: http://www.celiac.com/articles/24461/1/General-Mills-Looks-to-Patent-Gluten-free-Oats/Page1.html

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 8:51:34 PM PST
General Mills employs a proprietary optical sorting system for which they are applying for a patent. For them to get a patent, the process will have to work. I'm guessing they put a bunch of money, study, time and effort to arrive at their final process. They have much to lose if they get it wrong, like being sued by merciless trial lawyers representing angry celiac disease patients. Stay tuned.

 
Cynthia C Kelley
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 2:01:54 PM PST
I did get really sick when I first ate Cheerios.The company admitted to a problem. I contacted the company and they gave me coupons for more boxes, which I used for the Food Shelf as I didn't trust them. I was apprehensive, but finally ate Cheerios again. Since then, I have eaten Cheerios (without milk as I'm dairy free) many times and I've been fine. I'm celiac and very sensitive to gluten and I share Honey Nut Cheerios with my husband and I am fine.

 
Jeff
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 2:14:07 PM PST
If one credible highly gluten sensitive person gets sick in a way that they only get sick from gluten, and then they stop eating the product and they get better, that proves that the product is not really gluten free, and it should not be consumed by highly gluten sensitive people. It is not enough proof to make an accusation against the company. So, warning people is good. Believing that there is no doubt that the product is not gluten free is also good. But, accusing the company is premature. Not because there is not enough proof, but because the proof is not the type that the public will accept as proof. Eating the product and keeping the box for testing is not being cautious, because keeping the box does not stop you from getting sick.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 9:06:40 PM PST
Agreed. People who think they are getting sick from this, or any, gluten-free product should 1) stop eating it, and 2) report it to the FDA, the company, or other appropriate authority. If enough people actually complain with box information, etc., then there might be evidence to support a claim that the product is not safe for celiacs.

 
kwixote
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said this on
31 Oct 2016 5:21:48 PM PST
You make some very good points. As a person with celiac, it is easy to feel the world is always against you, and to stay in a permanent defensive crouch. But when corporate America finds it in their interests to produce GF food, then we really must honor that. I would assume they are as safe as they say they are -- until there is evidence to prove otherwise.

 
Linda Ostrow
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 6:01:11 PM PST
I LOVE the new Cheerios. THANK YOU General Mills. I missed Cheerios so much. I am EXTREMELY sensitive to gluten....EXTREMELY and Cheerios doesn't bother me at all. I am so VERY grateful.

 
David
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 6:45:48 PM PST
I was beyond excited to try Cheerios again after years of going without, but unfortunately I got pretty sick off the non-contaminated Cheerios.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
22 Nov 2016 12:09:27 PM PST
Perhaps you are one of the 10% of celiacs who also have an oat sensitivity?

 
Lori
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 7:13:36 PM PST
I used get sick regularly from Cheerios. I have not become sick from them since they claimed they are gluten free. As a matter of fact, it is the only dry cereal I eat. Thank you General Mills.

 
Susan
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 8:11:06 PM PST
I was thrilled when Cheerios came out GF and I could eat my favorite cereal again. I have had no problems with the GF Cheerios. As a matter of fact, this morning I had the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.

 
Kristen
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
31 Oct 2016 11:29:46 PM PST
Your article is flawed. After the recall of the contaminated boxes ~ the FDA did indeed test 30 some odd boxes of the GF Cheerios and found that the levels of gluten was different in every box, including over the 20ppm limit. These were NOT part of the recall from the other incident, this is actually a second recall. There has been no report of why these are contaminated and what they are doing to fix it: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/SafetyAlertsAdvisories/ucm465984.htm As well, Gluten Free Watch Dog has also had much correspondence with General Mills, done testing and reported that they are not safe: https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/product/gf-cheerios-combined-datasummary-statement/419 So ~ in saying that this is because the CCA 'heard stories' is not remotely accurate. There is evidence that these products are not gluten free, there are many reports of people being sick. Your article is 100% inaccurate. Sensationalism ~ sad.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 3:47:51 PM PST
You are spreading misinformation. The FDA link you include, and your claim that the 30 boxes tested were NOT part of the voluntary recall is incorrect--all lot number in the link you post are part of their voluntary recall due to accidental wheat contamination: https://mic.com/articles/126341/cheerios-and-honey-nut-cheerios-recall-here-s-how-to-find-out-if-yours-were-affected#.ypxmYDJ1d


 
Valerie
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said this on
01 Nov 2016 12:37:25 AM PST
To solve this problem dealing with General Mills and their tainted catastrophic ordeal with "Simply 'Gluten-free' Cheerios", I would highly recommend GM to remove all Gluten-free Cheerios off the shelf, and furthermore, take them off the market! GM is committing a dis-service to a large segment of the population that is "gluten free" . I will never touch or eat another box of GM gluten free products ,ever again! This is unheard of and disgusting as if you are promoting health and safety of our country's citizens! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!!!!!!

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 3:30:59 PM PST
We are not ashamed to bring this important topic in front of you to discuss, and nor should we be.

 
Elvwnk
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 2:52:02 AM PST
The problem with all gluten free food is that it's OK until it's not. I've been sick occasionally on sorted oats (Bob's Red Mill, Pamela´s oat bars), but never on purity protocol oats. I feel the risk of a sorting error is greater than that of oats grown with strict controls. Purity protocol oats also adhere to a lower ppm standard. I guess "safe" depends on if the ppm and sorting error risk are within one's comfort zone.

 
Kim
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 4:34:25 AM PST
I have tried eating the "Gluten Free" Cheerios a few times from different boxes and every time I reacted. I only tried a few times because I wasn't sure what made me sick. Now I know with absolute certainty. I do not at all believe in the process they use and will never again eat Cheerios after getting sick every time I tried them. Not all celiac are created equal some are more sensitive than others so they might not be bad enough for all celiacs to react to them. I am highly sensitive and react to the slightest cross contamination. So Thanks, but no Thanks General Mills!! You can keep your Cheerios!!!!

 
Amy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 5:05:41 AM PST
I agree that claims need to be backed up with solid evidence. I appreciate the efforts various companies are making to provide the celiac and gluten intolerant community with food options and think that unless we are very careful when we call them out for errors, we are going to scare away other manufacturers and restaurants who are genuinely trying to accommodate us.

 
Carol
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 5:33:40 AM PST
Where was the recall? I don't generally respond to blogs but if you are new to this GF stuff do to an allergy, please beware. I did get sick after eating a GF honey nut cheerios and more than once as after I while I heard others say they were OK and I got sick again so it was definitely the Cheerios. I don't know how sensitive I am but I can eat candy bars that say may contain wheat (processed in plant with other wheat products) and I am generally OK; that is not the case with Cheerios.

 
Diane
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 5:43:17 AM PST
I, like many other celiacs, am also allergic to "pure" oats (those that are completely uncontaminated by wheat or other gluten sources). I have similar symptoms to having been glutened (diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc.) after eating oats, though the symptoms last a shorter length of time. I warn other celiacs to be cautious of ingesting even GF oats, until you can confirm that you aren't in the 25-30% who have this extra allergy. It may be that a faulty vsystem of vetting the oats is not the only cause of potential problems for celiacs.

 
Rick
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 6:02:21 AM PST
WOW, is someone in bed with General Mills? Did someone become the official spokesman for General Mills? If they get an independent third party to make their product "Certified Gluten Free" and I'd eat it, until then I am staying away. Maybe you can pass this along to them, since it appears you have a close relationship with General Mills.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 3:21:07 PM PST
No need to inject conspiracy theories here Rick, we have no connection with General Mills, and have reported both positive and negative stories about their company.

 
Rick
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 6:09:10 AM PST
Not all with celiac are the same, that's why diagnosing it is so difficult. You can have 10 people with celiac eat the exact same meal and all ten have may have different reactions. But we do know is this, NO AMOUNT of gluten is safe for someone with celiac and damage can actually be occurring without you or I even knowing it. Everyone with celiac should be supportive of each other, that's what will make a successful support group and make for strong public advocacy.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 9:31:23 PM PST
"But we do know is this, NO AMOUNT of gluten is safe for someone with celiac..." The vast majority of people with celiac disease have ZERO problems with gluten content below 20ppm. That is supported by peer-reviewed science, which is one of the main reasons the FDA arrived at the standard.

 
Driver
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 6:34:50 AM PST
My 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with celiac via blood work, endoscopy and biopsy nearly three years ago. At the time, her tTG was over 100 and the damage to her intestines was visible to the naked eye. She is well-recovered now, though susceptible to the occasional small cross-contamination. She also eats gluten-free Cheerios daily and her latest tTG numbers were perfect. Kudos to General Mills for their efforts in bringing GF foods mainstream.

 
Teresa
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 7:27:56 AM PST
I agree. It is hard enough in a social situation to explain why I am constantly vigilant about my diet; a public perception that all celiacs are paranoid doesn't help. When I was first diagnosed, the hysteria I found on-line and in books was depressing, with warnings against white vinegar, spirits derived from grain, blue cheese, buckwheat, vanilla extract, and so on. Please -- a little more science, folks, and less rumor.

 
Sandy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 7:59:44 AM PST
Personally, I don't eat any processed food any more. Too many times I have gotten glutened from "gluten-free". It doesn't take that long to cook from scratch.

 
Jessica
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 8:02:51 AM PST
Why would you say that it is irresponsible for someone to think General Mills is using a faulty system? What IS irresponsible is taking gluten-filled oats, trying to remove the gluten, then not providing sufficient testing on their products. Cheerios are a "gluten removed" food. What is also irresponsible is how General Mills handled the recall - ignoring comments from sick Celiacs and claiming that they were sick because of the high fiber content. They also refuse to answer questions outside of their general statement about the recall. Nothing that General Mills is doing is responsible. You said in a comment above that this article is in response to what Samantha said on CBS - have you ever been on the news? They largely control and edit what you say for time constraints. There is always more to the story than what is briefly said in a news program.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 3:12:56 PM PST
For decades celiacs have been safely eating gluten-removed foods (think Codex Alimentarius wheat starch products in Europe), and many are now safely drinking gluten-removed beer.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 9:18:34 PM PST
"Gluten filled oats?" I'm not sure what you mean. Pure oats are gluten-free, although some celiacs are also sensitive to oats, and oats sorted to 20ppm or less are also gluten-free, and meet the FDA standard for gluten-free products. Also, if General Mills is knowingly turning out gluten-contaminated products, don't you think their likely to be sued by hungry trial lawyers?

 
Mark
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 8:25:15 AM PST
Biggest concern I have is the chemical additives in Cheerios including some that are banned from commercial use but the US government says are okay to eat! Organics don't seem to have them.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
22 Nov 2016 12:07:51 PM PST
What "chemical additives" are you talking about, and what do they have to do with the gluten-free status of the cereal?

 
Joy M
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 8:32:30 AM PST
I wasn't sure if I should put a poor or excellent rating, because I'm glad the info is being put out there, but to cast doubt on the veracity of the claims is a bit troubling. I bought a box of regular flavor gluten free Cheerios (I have celiac), and had 1 bowl, and was sick for days! I gave the box to my co-worker, who is gluten sensitive and she also got sick! She fed the rest of the box to the birds in her garden, so I don't have a sample to send in. But I was pretty miffed because I'm SO careful.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 9:35:05 PM PST
Did you report it to the FDA? Or even General Mills? You just need to report the lot number. They don't need the Cheerios, just the lot number. They can find product problems with very simple information. Please do report such problems in the future. It's the only way to discover issues.

 
Kyle
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 9:26:05 AM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac 13 years ago and been on a GF diet ever since. I have been eating Cheerios from both US and now Canada. I've eaten several boxes with no noticeable symptoms. I can usually tell when I've accidentally eaten something with gluten in it but no issues after eating Cheerios for days in a row. It's not scientific evidence but what I've experienced. For now I've stopped eating them just in case until the answer is more clear but I feel like they are okay. Just my $0.02.

 
Julie Hahn
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 10:22:13 AM PST
Mr. Adams, I take issue with your mocking tone and disregard for the possibility of gluten contamination. Let's remember when the incident happened of a train car load of gluten grain was introduced into their flour, that it wasn't until celiac patients started complaining of reactions that GM never bothered to TEST the bad batch. That tells me that they lack a good process to keep me safe. I have a neurological condition caused by celiac disease. If I get any gluten I am bed bound (Ataxia, neuropathy, brain deterioration, etc) for at least six weeks and I never recover fully to where I was previously to this episode. I don't get any gut symptoms. Mine are all neurological in nature. It's called Gluten Ataxia. It seems you've even written an article about this manifestation of CD. Until GM and other new to the game corporations are willing to submit to outside testing on a regular basis and not just trust their sorting system, I would be a fool to trust GM.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
02 Nov 2016 9:27:32 PM PST
Gluten ataxia, or no, calling a product "unsafe" for celiacs without actual evidence is wrong, especially for an organization with a mission to promote awareness. It's one thing to say that people should use caution, as GM's sorting method is new, and that people should use their best judgement, regardless of gluten-free labels. However, many people, including many sensitive people report eating Gluten Free Cheerios and other gluten-free GM products with no adverse effects whatever. Until there is actual evidence to support a challenge to GM's products, it is irresponsible and unscientific to call them unsafe.

 
Karen
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 12:16:29 PM PST
Oat avenins are similar to gliaden in wheat and will trigger a gluten-type reaction in the gut. Believe me, I know.

 
Skip
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 1:40:45 PM PST
While you are addressing a timely topic, this is minor and missing the most significant problem. While I have the genetics for celiac, I did not have the disease until my late 50's. For years, I ate many wheat products without a problem. However, when I had Cheerios (regular) or Ritz crackers I had a particular GI reaction. Now I get the same reaction with any wheat product. Through these products my immune system now reacts to any gluten. I find it interesting that Meg (prior post) eats Cheerios regularly and her daughter has celiac. Daughter probably ate Cheerios frequently too, along with Mom. And, that's probably how hers developed. I'll bet a lot of people that have celiac now, were prior Cheerios and Nabisco fans.

 
Ali
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 1:49:33 PM PST
This article feels written with bias. When you write about her "stories" that she's "hearing" and use quotation marks like this, your bias clearly shows. It certainly doesn't feel like both sides of the argument were thoroughly researched. I personally feel like it's the gluten free testing that is flawed when it comes to Cheerios. We will stay away from them until they adopt a safer testing procedure.

 
Jefferson Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
08 Nov 2016 10:39:43 AM PST
Those words appear in quotes, because those are the words that were used. It's one thing to urge caution until the dust settles. It is entirely another thing to state that the GM sorting process has "problems" and that their product is unsafe for celiacs. That has not been proven, and no actual evidence is offered. By all means, use caution and trust your own reactions. Just don't claim something is unsafe when no evidence exists for the claim.

 
Skip
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2016 3:51:12 PM PST
Maybe some additive, might have something to do with why they are having problems with their GF variety.

 
Vickie Ewell
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01 Nov 2016 3:57:56 PM PST
What's irresponsible is the "innocent until proven guilty" perspective taken in this article. It does a great disservice to celiacs who need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a product is completely safe for them before using it. The use it, see if you react, and then we'll discuss it approach is just as bad as: if it were really dangerous, people would be reporting it. It doesn't work that way. Hubby reacted to these gluten-free Cheerios, and the box was NOT from the re-called batch. He didn't see the point in reporting it, so your logic doesn't hold up. Me? I chose not to go anywhere near the stuff because of the way they test. I'm a super-sensitive celiac who reacts to levels far lower than 20 ppm. I already have several autoimmune diseases, so to me, it's simply not worth the risk of getting more.

 
Jefferson Adams
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07 Nov 2016 9:37:45 AM PST
Once again, some people claim to have adverse gluten reactions to these cereals. Other people with celiac disease claim they, and/or their celiac children consume these products with no issue. Without actual evidence, which side do we promote? Answer is neither side. Would you be happy if we said: Lots of people with celiac disease have no trouble with this product, therefor, it must be safe. No, you would no be okay with that. Your position is no different. We must have actual scientific evidence to support either claim. Until then, we simply advocate caution and individual evaluation of these products. We also advocate reporting any suspected gluten contamination. That´s the responsible position.

 
Skip
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01 Nov 2016 4:01:18 PM PST
Although it is a timely topic, the more important point is developing celiac in the first place. I have the genetics for celiac but did not develop it until my late 50's. I ate many wheat products with no problem, but when I ate Cheerios (regular) and Ritz, I developed a particular GI reaction. I subsequently developed the same reaction to all gluten products. As a result of Cheerios and Ritz, my immune system now reacts to all of them. It is interesting that Meg (prior post) eats Cheerios regularly and that her daughter developed celiac. Her daughter probably ate Cheerio's often, following Mom, and got the disease early. I bet a lot of people with celiac were Cheerios and Nabisco fans. Maybe it's some additive, might have something to do with why they are having problems with their GF variety.

 
Jefferson Adams
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02 Nov 2016 9:37:23 PM PST
This is not exactly correct. Celiac disease was discovered and named in the 1950s, the condition and the genetics have existed for a very long time.

 
admin
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02 Nov 2016 2:54:21 PM PST
A small percentage of celiacs are also avenin intolerant, which is protein found in oats, but it is considered a separate food intolerance that isn't part of celiac disease.

 
Sherry
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02 Nov 2016 11:33:15 AM PST
Avenin, the glutenous protein in oats can cause similar reactions that celiacs experience when exposed to gluten. Not sure if it's just a sensitivity in me or a true allergy (rare), but I avoid oats - gluten free or otherwise.

 
D Bloom
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02 Nov 2016 2:26:30 PM PST
I have been eating GF Cheerios since they came out and have never had a problem.

 
Noglutennocry
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14 Nov 2016 9:44:55 AM PST
I was so excited to eat Cherrios again. I bought a box and ate a bowl. Was sick for 2 days. Didn't save the box or call the company. After 25 years of gluten free eating, I have learned to not experiment with my body. If I get sick once - that's it. So nothing from General Mills. I do not believe that they will ever take the proper care to ensure that their products are truly gluten free, because that is not their primary interest as a company. Better to buy from companies who have gluten free food as their primary food.




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