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Mis-labeled Arrow Head Mills Wf Products


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7 replies to this topic

#1 hapi2bgf

 
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Posted 12 January 2004 - 11:29 AM

:angry: I just bought the Arrow Head Mills Wheat Free Brownie mix and Wheat Free Chocolate Chip cookie mix. I made the brownies last night and the whole family had some, and while they are not great, they at least cover my chocolate fix. Well I called the manufacturer, Hain Celestial Group, this morning to verify that these brownies were safe for someone with a peanut allergy. The box has no allergy statement on it, so I guess I should have seen that as a warning and not bought the products or at least called before making them. Hind Sight is always 20-20.

Well the official stance from the company is that unless the package clearly states that the product was made on a dedicated line, they cannot guarantee the safety of the product for someone with an allergy. I verified that the same rule applies to us celiacs. So, even though the box clearly states Wheat Free in the title of the product, they cannot guarantee that the product is actually wheat free. Isn't this somehow mislabled when the box shows Wheat free and gluten free on the package but the company has no ability to back up the claim of being wheat free and gluten free. So please tell me what the point of calling it wheat free? Should have been named Sort of Wheat Free Brownies or Possibly Wheat free Chocolate Chip Cookies. I for one will NEVER buy another Hain-Celestial product!
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#2 seeking_wholeness

 
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Posted 12 January 2004 - 11:59 AM

It's funny, I was just on the phone with Hain Celestial Group this morning, and they were most unhelpful! I was inquiring about their Walnut Acres juices, and they couldn't tell me a thing about what was in their "natural flavors"--"it's proprietary and we don't know the formula," they said. And they suggested that the machinery may be contaminated, so I can't trust anything they make! It's really infuriating! I wish it were mandatory to disclose potential allergenic contaminants--but then all companies would just list all of them to cover their backsides legally!

There must be some smaller companies out there that specialize in naturally gluten-free foods and care about us celiacs. Does anybody know of any?
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Sarah
gluten-free since November 1, 2003

#3 kejohe

 
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Posted 12 January 2004 - 02:02 PM

While I have never had to call arrowhead mills yet and talk to anyone, so far I haven't really found that many of their products to be very good anyway. <_< So I usually don't buy from them. Here are a few websites that are dedicated to gluten-free foods and products:

kinnikinnick.com - my favorite, 10$ shipping no matter how much you buy
glutenfreepantry.com - good stuff, but shipping prices can be very high
missroben.com - great snack foods for kids and cheap shipping
authenticfoods.com - good one, but I can't remember if they are totally gluten-free or if the sell both.

Hope this helps a little bit.
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Kathleen
Son has been gluten-free since December 2001

#4 debmidge

 
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Posted 24 February 2004 - 03:02 AM

we had same problem with Hain/Celestial. It seemed that the Cust Service Rep who was on phone had no clue as to what he was talking about. He was reading from a script that the cereal was made from gluten free ingredients. When pressed further, he could not comprehend "cross-contamination" question. Is this manufacturer just goin thru the motions or do they really want to be a product source for celiacs? Notice their label states: Wheat Free, Made from Gluten-Free Ingredients. They also advised over phone that they do not test for gluten, but that wasn't the question. I really wish they would have a definitive answer so that we can move on from here. Perhaps to claim "Gluten Free" a manufactuer would have to prove to the FDA that they use either a dedicated line or that they clean the production lines after every gluten batch and that they store the ingredients separate from the gluten products. Maybe standardization is what is needed here.
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Husband has Celiac Disease and
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006
It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

#5 tonileet

 
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Posted 24 February 2004 - 04:04 PM

Hi Everyone,

I just called Hain Celestial Group because I'm craving some Imagine Foods Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert and wanted to 1) verify that it is still gluten-free and 2) find out if there's any possibility of cross-contamination. After being on hold for a few minutes I spoke to a man named George. When I asked him if the gluten-free listings on their website (dated 7/02) are still current he hesitated and then said "ah........ as far as I know". I got the impression that he didn't really know for sure. He also said that gluten-containing products are made on the same equipment as gluten-free products and that there is a possibility of cross-contamination. I also asked if they clean their equipment and test for gluten and he said yes. It's interesting, debmidge, that you were told that they don't test for gluten. I didn't feel reassured after I hung up.....but that doesn't mean that the Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert, that I REALLY want to eat, isn't gluten-free. I've eaten it many times before with no problems. But I'd feel better if George had offered to verify their gluten-free list and get back to me.

kejohe, thanks for suggesting some gluten-free companies. I haven't checked them out because I'm a vegan and most of the products probably contain animal ingredients, but......maybe I'll find a few vegan foods. I'd really like to expand my menu options.

hap2bgf - I agree. A product labeled gluten-free isn't gluten-free if it has been cross-contaminated. UGH! We deserve a guarantee! I did get a chuckle at the thought of products being labeled "Sort of Gluten-Free" or "Possibly Gluten-Free". :D

Happy day, all - Toni
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#6 filititi

 
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Posted 24 February 2004 - 09:49 PM

I think that it's completely insane that they can get away with that. Has anyone contacted a higher individual in the company? Written a letter? Do they have a web site?

I'm tired of companies who don't really care about our plight, and I'm more than willing to raise a little....uh, stuff...if no one else has.

Brandy
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#7 debmidge

 
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Posted 28 February 2004 - 07:01 AM

Hi All, Since my last entry on the Mess Board I emailed to Hain/Celestial regarding the gluten free question and I have yet to get a response. This is the second time I've emailed to them in the past say 8 weeks. I believe they also make "Garden of Eatin" snack products & I called on that say 2-3 months ago and have yet to receive my list of gluten-free snack products. I don't believe that this company is really interested in the needs of celliacs. Furthermore, my husband has had a reaction on their Buckwheat Flakes, which only states: Wheat Free - made with non gluten ingredients. What the HE-double-toothpicks does that mean!? We had to throw the box out - he wouldn't even let me eat it even though I do not have celiac disease. He was that mad at it! The FDA should have standards as I mentioned before. That should be the only way a compay can say gluten free product. I really resent the lack of response from Arrowhead/Hain/Celestial. So much for customer service. They'll lose customer loyalty. Other than health food people, vegans and celiac disease's, who else do they think buy their products? Believe me, if General Mills came out tomorrow with a gluten-free line and could back it up with data and proof, I'd be the first in line to purchase a case or two.
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Husband has Celiac Disease and
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006
It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

#8 filititi

 
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Posted 28 February 2004 - 11:03 AM

I've contacted more companies than I can count about whether or not their products contain gluten. It's amazing how many of them reply that they don't do allergy testing, that they don't really know what goes into their products, or don't bother to reply at all. I've been very vigilant about informing them of the importance of a gluten free diet to Celiacs, but I don't think that all of my efforts are making much of a difference.

I have a least had some luck getting them to contact me back, however, so I'll give it a try as well. The more people who pester them the better, as far as I'm concerned. There are enough of us that are affected that these companies better start paying attention to their ingredients, and doing allergy testing...or they won't have enough of a client base that they'll be able to stay in business.

:angry:

Brandy
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