Gluten-Free Food Certification Program by the Gluten Intolerance Group
In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Celiac.com 09/01/2005 - The Gluten Intolerance Group® is pleased to announce our gluten-free food certification program, the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO), the first program of its kind in the world! This new independent food processing inspection program will verify that food products meet the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and a safe processing environment. Food products meeting these high standards will receive our gluten-free certification mark, allowing gluten-free consumers to easily identify foods that are free of gluten and possible cross-contamination from gluten.
Key elements of the GFCO process include:
- Ingredients review, down to the original supplier
- Onsite inspections by experienced, trained independent (third party) Field Inspection Agents
- Product and ingredient testing using scientifically AOAC approved testing methods
- GFCO certification mark located on product packages for easy identification
Gluten-free you can easily see
Products labeled with the gluten-free certification mark allow consumers to easily identify products that have been independently verified to meet the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and safe processing environment.
First major food companies to adopt GFCO supervision and labeling Enjoy Life Foods and PureFit Nutrition Bar are the first food manufacturers to join the GFCO supervision program. These pioneering companies will display the gluten-free certification mark on their food products in the near future.
GFCO maintains a system of independent verification through plant visits to assure that there have been no changes that might compromise its gluten-free status. GFCO certification uses the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and safe processing environment, and cannot be altered or compromised. The GFCO certification standards exceed the requirements of current government laws and regulations. The voluntary participation of companies in this program will ensure public confidence in the gluten-free status of their products.
The GFCO was developed in cooperation with the Food Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the Orthodox Union (the "OU"), the worlds largest and oldest kosher certification agency. The OUs nearly 500 field representatives, proficient in modern food production techniques and chemical and biological processes, will conduct plant inspections and product reviews for the GFCO. Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the logo, one of the worlds best-known trademarks, instills confidence in the purchaser that the product has passed inspection and meets high quality standards. For more information visit: http://www.oukosher.org.
The Gluten-Free Certification Organizations (GFCO) mission is to provide an independent service to supervise gluten-free food production according to a consistent, defined, science-based standard, that is confirmed by field inspections, in order to achieve heightened consumer confidence and safety. GFCO is governed by an independent volunteer board that includes physicians, food scientists and consumers. For more information visit: http://www.gfco.org, or call 206-246-6652.
The Gluten Intolerance Group® (GIG)s mission is to increase awareness by providing accurate, up-to-date information, education and support for those with gluten intolerance, celiac disease/dermatitis herpetiformis, their families, health care professionals and the general public. GIGs volunteers, staff, and Board are knowledgeable, and our materials and resources are credible. GIGs Medical Advisory Board approves all education materials. For more information visit: http://www.gluten.net.As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).
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