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Response From Parmalat Canada
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24 posts in this topic

For anyone in Canada:

Dear Ms. L.,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to Parmalat Canada. We had experienced technical difficulties and we are not sure if you have already received a response. We apologies if you have already been answered and please accept our sincere apologies if you have not yet received an answer.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our products. In response to your inquiry, recent updates in regulations have changed the definition of what can be declared as a "gluten free" product. As a result of the changes in the regulations, we have reviewed our products and, under the revised regulations, only our Beatrice Sensational Soy Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Sensational Juice Blends can be described as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

This is insane! Parmalat produces a ton of dairy products under various names. This would eliminate a lot of dairy that I can purchase at a reasonable price.

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Whoa that IS crazy! :o

~lisa~

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That is mental! They are saying there is gluten in their *milk*????????

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Gluten in milk?!?! That IS insane! That doesn't make any sense. And what regulatory updates are they talking about?

Meanwhile, here's the letter I got from Yoplait.

Dear Mrs ____,

We aknowledge receipt your comments concerning the gluten in the Yoplait products.

We want to certified you that all the Yoplait Products are gluten free.

More information about all the Yoplait products are available on yoplait.ca our new Web site.

Once again, thank you for your comments and please be assured that Yoplait is continuously working to be the first to offer consumers innovative products of the highest quality.

Sincerely yours,

Marie-France Laurin

Consumer Service

YOPLAIT

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I hope they are wrong, because just when I thought i found enough varieties of food that I can live like a normal human, I dont need some company cutting down that supply, especially not when it comes to milk products! :unsure:

~lisa~

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Yeah, what a stupid response. I wonder if it is like the warning labe "may have been in contact with gluten"? The Dairyland website lists their gluten free items. I emailed Saputo (parent company of Dairyland) for their gluten-free status too.

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I couldn't find the Dairyland list, I ended up emailing them. No response yet.

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It sounds as if the change in description is due to the change in regulations.

I don't know what regulations have changed but it's my guess it may be either:

- sweeteners/fillers made from wheat like maltodextrin, dextrose which are known to be extremely (I mean extremely) low in gluten residue but which might conceivable disagree with those sensitive to wheat (though I have not definitely heard of that)

- cross contamination isues

There should be a standard for cross-contamination which should be lower than the codex standard though in practice items meeting the codex standard will often be far below the legal limit on the codex standard.

The items referred to in the letter may have contained as much gluten etc in the past as they will from now on, but the "goal posts" allowed for them to be described differently then.

What is unhelpful about the letter is that it does not explain explicitly what proportion of what residues is in what product and whether that is in fact a change from previously or not.

You should regard the actual ingredients list as more authoritative than any "contains" or "free" box.

The company owe you another letter clarifying these issues.

Maybe when they've sent you it you can go back to using some of those other products if they didn't cause you ill health before.

We have this kind of goalpost moving all the time in the UK.

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Wow! I am glad that I read this post! I just checked the Yoplait website and this is what they have on it:

Do Yoplait products contain gluten?

We carefully analyze all of our ingredients (presence of wheat, rye, barley, triticale, spelt, oats and malt) to ensure they do not contain gluten. Our products can therefore be safely consumed by people with celiac disease.

I've noticed "modified cornstarch" on the list of ingredients of both Yoplait Creme & fruit and Spring Valley. Has the cornstarch been modified with gluten?

Modified cornstarch is used to stabilize yogourt and does not contain gluten.

And I thought my Yoplait days were over! Thank you for mentioning this! :D

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I love Yoplait. At least they know what they are putting into their products. What I don't understand about Parmalat is why products like milk and cheese are not gluten-free? Are there products made to a lesser standard or do they just not know what is in their products. As if being gluten-free in Canada is not hard enough. At least we have Yoplait for yogurt and Kraft for cheese!

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I sent Parmalat an email this morning (and left a message after many rings of the phone) and in the email I posted the pertinent part of Felidae's letter from the company and then I said, "Are you saying that all of your milk, margarine, and yogurt products contain gluten?"

I left it at that. Except I did say how I was looking forward to a response soon.

Emailed Dairyland this morning also, and got this reply:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding our gluten free products. Below is out list.

GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS:

Dairyland & Baxter Milk All white & flavoured milks are gluten free except chocolate milk - see below.

Dairyland & Baxter Chocolate Milk Corn gluten only

Dairyland & Baxter Whip Cream Gluten free

Dairyland & Nutrilait Plus Microfiltered Milks (Skim, 1%, 2%) Gluten free

Dairyland Plus Omega Milk Gluten free

Dairyland Ice Cream Mix/Milkshake Mix Gluten free (mix only as sold to customer).

Dairyland Frosted Malt Mix NOT gluten free (has corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley).

Dairyland California Yogurt Mix Gluten free

Pacific & Alpha Evaporated Milk Gluten free

Dairyland & Baxter Sour Cream, Dairyland Yogurts, International Delight They have corn gluten

Dairyland & Baxter Cottage Cheese (Plain & fruit flavoured) Gluten free except the cott. cheese combo fruit does have CORN gluten.

Dairyland & Fraser Valley Butter - salted & unsalted Gluten free

Dairyland & Baxter Egg Nog Gluten free

Dairyland & Baxter Buttermilk Gluten free

Meadowvale Margarine Gluten free

Armstrong & Saputo Cheese: Shred, Cheddar, Light Cheddar, Mozz., Feta, Nibblers, Slices (processed and Provolone), Fat Free Slices, Parmesan Grated Cheese, Saputo Cheese Strings & Saputo Cheese Heads, Saputo Ricotta Cheese, Bari & Stella Whey Ricotta Cheese Gluten free

Saputo Blue Cheese MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF GLUTEN

We hope that helps.

Sincerely,

> Deborah Elke

> Consumer Relations Coordinator

> Marketing Department

> Saputo

>

> Saputo Foods Limited

> 6800 Lougheed Highway

> Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1W2

>

> Tel: 1-800-672-8866 / Fax: 604-581-4106

> delke@saputo.com

> www.saputo.com

I love how there's a typo in the first sentence. And what the heck is corn gluten?!

It's a start. After all that, I decided to let Kellogg's know we need gluten-free cereal too. No response from them yet. The first time I wrote to them I got a letter that said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "We don't make gluten free products and we never ever will so P.F.O." :P

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FYI - Corn does have gluten, which is really just a generic name for the protein in grains. It's not the same protein structure as wheat, rye, or barley gluten, so we can eat it without problems.

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Good, I was hoping someone else would email Parmalat. Maybe the person who responded to me was mistaken. The more people that bug them the more info. I think we'll get. Thanks for the Dairyland list.

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My email from Parmalat was addressed to "Dear Valued Consumer".

Here's the response:

Dear Valued Consumer,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your recent call to Parmalat Canada .

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our Sensational Soy Products. In response to your inquiry, recent updates in regulations have changed the definition of what can be declared as a "Gluten Free" product. As a result of the changes in the regulations, we have reviewed our products and, under the revised regulations, only our Beatrice Sensational Soy Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Sensational Juice Blends can be described as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

Of course, I didn't even ASK about soy products. Here's MY response to them:

Thank you for your prompt response, but I am not writing about soy products, I am writing about milk, cheese, yogurt and margarine and butter products. For example, does a 4L jug of homogenized milk also contain gluten? Does your chocolate milk contain gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley (malt), oats, triticale, spelt and kamut. My son cannot ingest gluten, he will get very ill.

I am looking for a list of gluten free products from your COMPLETE line of products, including Astro and Beatrice yogurt, Lactantia spreads, Parkay spreads, Black Diamond cheese and cheese strings, Sargento grated cheese, etc.

I would appreciate a gluten free list for ALL products falling under the corporate entity known as Parmalat. So, a gluten free list for all Beatrice products, all Black Diamond products, all Astro products, all Lactantia products, etc.

Thank you.

We'll see what happens. They need me to buy their products after all. I am a Valued Consumer.

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That's a great email Linda. I looki forward to seeing how they will respond to that.

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I agree, good email.. I HOPE you can get a good response too! I say we all keep pressuring til they give in :P

~lisa~

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My email from Parmalat was addressed to "Dear Valued Consumer".

Here's the response:

Dear Valued Consumer,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your recent call to Parmalat Canada .

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our Sensational Soy Products.  In response to your inquiry, recent updates in regulations have changed the definition of what can be declared as a "Gluten Free" product. As a result of the changes in the regulations, we have reviewed our products and, under the revised regulations, only our Beatrice Sensational Soy Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Sensational Juice Blends can be described as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

Of course, I didn't even ASK about soy products. Here's MY response to them:

Thank you for your prompt response, but I am not writing about soy products, I am writing about milk, cheese, yogurt and margarine and butter products. For example, does a 4L jug of homogenized milk also contain gluten? Does your chocolate milk contain gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley (malt), oats, triticale, spelt and kamut. My son cannot ingest gluten, he will get very ill.

I am looking for a list of gluten free products from your COMPLETE line of products, including Astro and Beatrice yogurt, Lactantia spreads, Parkay spreads, Black Diamond cheese and cheese strings, Sargento grated cheese, etc.

I would appreciate a gluten free list for ALL products falling under the corporate entity known as Parmalat. So, a gluten free list for all Beatrice products, all Black Diamond products, all Astro products, all Lactantia products, etc.

Thank you.

We'll see what happens. They need me to buy their products after all. I am a Valued Consumer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't know how many of you know about Tofutti brand products butthey are totally dairy and lactose free. I have emaild them as to what of their products have gluten in them. So far from their site it appears that all entree's, and cakes and cookies do. Their hard cheeses don't seem to have casein in them which would be just grand. I am waiting for their reply back and will post it when it arrives.

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I've no idea what products you are discussing.

But do some hard cheeses not contain casein?

I thought milk without casein was impossible?

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BellyTimber, Parmalat is a large dairy products manufacturer in Canada. And they have stated that virtually none of their products are gluten-free.

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Okay gang, we can all stop buying anything from Parmalat. Here's the response to my e-mail (text of that e-mail is in an earlier post)

"Dear Valued Consumer,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your recent reply e-mail to Parmalat Canada .

In response to your inquiry, as previously mentioned in our email, only the

Sensational Soy Beverages can be listed as Gluten Free under the new regulations from the CFIA. Therefore under the new regulations, none of our other products can be listed as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

Reference #93335"

Since this is the second time they have referred to ONLY Sensational Soy being gluten-free I guess that we can assume that nothing else is. Peculiar, but there you have it. I'd be interested to see the new CFIA regs Parmalat is talking about.

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Sorry for the ridiculous length of this post.

Here's a link to the CFIA info:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/bureau...ae.shtml#7-15-7

it says:

7.15.7 Gluten-Free Foods [FDR, B.24.018, B.24.019] (Amended 31/01/97)

A food is not permitted to be labelled, packaged, sold or advertised in a manner likely to create an impression that it is "gluten-free" unless it does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye, triticale or any part thereof.

A food represented as "gluten-free" must declare the content of energy value, protein, fat and carbohydrate on the label (B.24.019). (see Section7.3 and Appendix II)

7.3 Third-Party Endorsements, Logos and Seals of Approval (see Annex 6, Appendix II) (Amended 31/01/97)

The following summarizes the policy on the use of third-party endorsements, logos and seals of approval in labelling and advertising:

Endorsement by private organizations could contravene subsections 3(1) and/or 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act. Endorsements which state, suggest or imply that a single food or brand of food is "nutritionally superior" to or "healthier" than other foods are considered misleading, since health is imparted by the total diet rather than by individual foods. An endorsement which suggests that a food may prevent a Schedule A disease is false and is specifically prohibited.

The policy does not apply to the gluten-free symbol of the Canadian Celiac Association or the food choice values of the Canadian Diabetes Association. (see Section 7.15.7)

Appendix II: Policy on the Use of Third-Party Endorsements, Logos and Seals of Approval

Introduction

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recognizes the need for collaboration among government, industry and non-government organizations in nutrition and health information programs and the desirability of providing useful information on labels and in advertising by manufacturers and third parties. It is, however, CFIA policy (as stated in Section 4.1.8 of the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising) that logos, seals of approval and professional endorsements on food labels or in food advertisements should be used with caution to ensure that consumers are not misled as to the merits of the product involved.

Endorsements by private organizations could contravene subsections 3(1) and/or 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act. Endorsements which state, suggest or imply that a single food or brand of food is "nutritionally superior" to, or "healthier" than, other foods are considered misleading, since health is imparted by the total diet rather than by individual foods. An endorsement which suggests that a food may prevent a Schedule A disease is false and is specifically prohibited.

Background

Increasing numbers of foods sold in retail outlets, in restaurants and food service establishments bear third party endorsements which imply nutrition or health-related benefits.

In view of the growing trend by manufacturers, retailers, restaurateurs and advertisers to enter into joint arrangements with health agencies and related organizations for the purposes of product promotion, there is concern that the proliferation of logos and seals of approval may lead to consumer confusion and, additionally, that the consumer is unable to judge the merit of the endorsing organizations. The criteria for describing foods in labelling and advertising have been established by regulations and guidelines. The development of alternative systems for describing foods may weaken the fabric of the regulatory base necessary for consumer protection. In this context, a clear policy is needed.

Policy Goal

To describe the conditions under which the name, statement, seal of approval, symbol, logo or other proprietary mark of a third party, suggestive of nutrition and/or health benefits, may be used on the label of, or in an advertisement for a food in a manner which will avoid misleading consumers.

1. Scope

1.1 This policy applies to the use of third party endorsements suggestive of a single food's or brand's nutrition and/or health-related benefits on food labels or in food advertisements including those in retail outlets, restaurants and food service establishments. The policy does not apply to logos, etc. of organizations providing health and nutrition information for groups or classes of foods in retail outlets, restaurants and food service establishments.

1.2 This policy does not apply to the use of the gluten-free symbol of the Canadian Celiac Association or the food choice values of the Canadian Diabetes Association (see Section 7.15.7 for requirements triggered by "gluten-free" claims or logos). These are intended only to provide information about a food's composition for consumers with celiac disease and diabetes respectively. These symbols are presented in such a way that only persons with celiac disease or diabetes recognize the symbols and are unlikely to be perceived by the general public as being endorsed by a health organization. Consideration may be given to additional exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Blah, blah, blah.

I also got an email from an advisor at the CFIA a few days ago. Here it is:

Your e-mail of October 25, 2005 to Ronald Burke, Director of this Bureau

has been forwarded to this office for reply on the status of the

initiative to enhance the labelling requirements, under the Food and Drug Regulations,for added food allergens, gluten sources and sulphites in foods sold in

Canada.

The proposed regulations are still under development, but progressing

steadily. Your suggestion to require a bold font for declaration of the

added food allergens, gluten sources and sulphites will be considered as

the work continues on these proposed regulations. We anticipate

prepublication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I, early next year. We will add your name to the list of

individuals to be notified when these proposed regulatory amendments are

published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

If you have any further questions, I can be contacted as shown below.

Dennis Lein

Senior Advisor/Conseiller principal

Food Regulatory Program/Programme de la réglementation des aliments Bureau of Food Regulatory, International and Interagency Affairs/Bureau de

la réglementation des aliments, des affaires internationales et

interagences

Food Directorate/Direction des aliments

Health Products and Food Branch/Direction génerale des produits de santé

et des aliments

Health Canada/Santé Canada

Phone/Téléphone: 613-957-1751

Fax/Télécopieur: 613-941-3537

E-mail/Courriel: Dennis_Lein@hc-sc.gc.ca

---

To: <Ronald_Burke@hc-sc.gc.ca>

cc:

Subject: gluten free labelling

Hello,

I was just reading information on labelling from the following website.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet...alergene_e.html

I wonder what has happened since then. Will all sources of gluten be

clearly labelled? Regarding item -b- if the name of the allergenic food is not already identified in the common name of the derivative, then the name of the allergenic food would have to appear in brackets following the ingredient; may I suggest having it in bold after the list of ingredients? For example: contains: gluten. I would even look forward to a contains: wheat or contains: barley malt or contains: oats.

It is increasingly difficult for someone purchasing food for a person with

Celiac Disease to narrow down the list of ingredients and pinpoint what

the ingredient is made from.

My five year old son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease two months ago, and

I have spent many hours reading labels and calling 800-numbers to check on

ingredients. Many times (for example) barley is at the end of the list of

ingredients and it would be VERY helpful if all the gluten containing

grains/starchs and ingredients such as "natural flavourings" were clearly

spelled out and in bold print.

I realize that people with Celiac do not suffer from an anaphylactic

response upon ingesting gluten, but the danger to their health is just as

serious as the people with reactions to certain allergens.

Please continue the push to have gluten clearly labelled on ingredients lists. Tens or even hundreds of thousand

of people will thank you for making their daily lives that much easier.

May I also encourage you to continue to push for proper labelling on the

prepackaged confections (commonly known as one bite confections that are

sold individually) as well as on the labels of prepackaged individual

portions of food that are served by a restaurant or other commercial

enterprise (airline) with meals or snacks.

Thank you,

Linda

Which STILL doesn't explain why the heck Parmalat says their milk is NOT gluten-free.

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A food represented as "gluten-free" must declare the content of energy value, protein, fat and carbohydrate on the label (B.24.019). (see Section7.3 and Appendix II)

This silly regulation may be the problem. Milk, by its very nature, is somewhat variable in these values. So, if they are not able to put this unrelated information on the label, then by a literal interpretation of the rule, they can not tell you ("represent") that the product is "gluten free".

God protect us from our government!! :angry:

BTW, they did not say that it is not gluten-free, only that they can not say that it is gluten-free. :huh:

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BTW, they did not say that it is not gluten-free, only that they can not say that it is gluten-free.  :huh:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're right...but they COULD say that they haven't ADDED anything to it, and that it is plain old milk with vitamin D. (Yeah, yeah, they have to add the vitamin D. You know what I mean. B) )

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I'm kind of regretting that I started this topic at all. Thanks for looking into the CFIA regulations.

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