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Glutened By Rice Dream Rice Milk

rice milk

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:19 PM

Even though Hain CLAIMS their rice beverage product is gluten-free, it is NOT. Since I changed from So Delicious coconut milk to Hain’s Rice Dream rice milk I have had increasingly horrific pain in my upper right flank, low-grade fever, terrible fatigue, and horrible diarrhea for the last six months. My body was acting like I had been glutened. I have spent months trying to figure out what I was eating that had gluten in it. The answer was: nothing. Apparently, I was drinking it.

Two days ago, I did a Google search for “Rice Dream rice milk gluten” and found many celiac forums and Celiac Disease experts cautioning against this brand of rice milk. Many people have written online in celiac forums about how they react badly to Rice Dream rice milk. When I started using Rice Dream rice milk, I had checked out Hain’s website to make sure that Rice Dream was gluten free before purchasing it. They said it was.

They lie – and the FDA allows this lie.

Hain uses a barley enzyme in the beginning process of making the milk. Hain is lying when they say on their site: “Is Rice Dream Beverage a gluten free product? Yes. Although Rice Dream Beverage is processed using a barley enzyme, the barley enzyme is discarded after use. The final beverage might contain a minute residual amount (less than .002%) of barley protein.” They state that they use it and then “throw it out.” But apparently it is still in the rice milk no matter what they say because I have reacted strongly to it. In fact, once the barley enzyme is in the rice milk, how in the world can it be separated out?

Hain also says that any gluten that might be in their product is below the FDA threshold of 20 ppm. But the problem is that the commercial tests for gluten contamination have some difficulty detecting hordein (the type of gluten protein found in barley) when the hordein has been broken down into smaller pieces or protein fragments.

It is also possible that there is not enough residual gluten left in the product for testing to detect (at least not with current tests), but there is plenty of gluten in Rice Dream rice milk for our bodies to detect it and be damaged by it, especially in people who tend to be very sensitive to even trace amounts of gluten.
More and more people do not trust the Rice Dream beverage – and they do indeed react like I have reacted. In fact, I drank the Rice Dream rice milk long enough to do further damage to my duodenum. It could take months and months to get over this glutening episode.

One would think that Hain would be more concerned about the dangers of gluten (and celiac disease) and not sell products that are made with anything that ever contained gluten. I will never buy Hain’s rice milk again or any of their products for that matter because I cannot trust them. And I will join others in spreading information all over the internet about the gluten dangers in Rice Dream rice milk.

Please do consider what I have said and do not trust what Hain claims their rice milk to be (gluten-free) because it is NOT.

The FDA is as much to blame for my glutening as Hain is. The FDA is too lax in what they allow in gluten-free products. 20 ppm is way too high for many Celiacs like myself. Celiac Disease is serious. A teensy tiny bit will make some of us truly suffer. Printing gluten free on a product that has even a smidge of gluten can be toxic for someone like me.

I have been off the Rice Dream for 2 days. Already the pain is subsiding and I am feeling a bit better.

I am so angry at Hain, I could spit nails!
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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

Nothing the FDA can do about it, there are no laws for gluten free. They can't enforce a law that isn't there.
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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

Make sure you are not reacting to rice. I was using this product in the not to distand past. Thank you for the information, because I do have one gluten intolerant friend still using it. I have found out that I am intolerant of rice, so I thought I would mention that.

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:25 PM

Part of the blame lies with yourself as well. Why did you not look into the product before you started consuming it? I don't mean to be harsh or anything, but its better to look into something before you start using it, than it is after.

I for one ate activia yogert for a while, despite knowing that it was made in a shared facility. One day i got a bad belly ache with it and just decided to cold turkey it. I only blame myself for it.

FDA has no control over what companies use for a "gluten free" standard.
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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

Sadly this is not new news. I never take a product at its word if it boasts the gluten-free label. Rice Dream clearly states on the box that they use barley to process it.

I have seen other products that claim they are made on shared lines with wheat. That's not good either!
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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

I am also drinking this exact same brand of Rice Milk. I can't believe what I am reading. And by a stroke of chance, I happened to find your thread. It's good you posted about it.

How much of you are having problems with this Rice Milk? I really like the taste, but at this moment, I am feeling terrible. I'm still very new to this gluten stuff but I am shocked this isn't law.

So if this isn't a law, then how do I know who is telling the truth and who isn't? Are you telling me I just need to trust these manufacturers and the people that run them? Because recently I am also having problems getting a straight answer and I don't feel any better at all. I have been diagnosed with Celiac and have been eating a supposedly Gluten-free diet, worrying about medication, foods, and cross contamination and taking them all into account.

Has anyone started a petition on change.org or anywhere else demanding a law to be enacted? That may sound niave, but a LOT of people are Celiacs. And Change.org has worked in the past. I think it is time for someone to do something. I know there are many children very sick with Celiac, so I am blown away that this is not an actual law. That just tells you something is wrong right there.
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:13 AM

Rice Dream milk has traditionally been filtered through barley and although there are claims that the barley does not contaminate the milk many celiacs do not tolerate Rice Dream. We have had many discussions on here about it in the past. There are plenty of other rice milks. Ditch the Rice Dream or switch to almond or hemp milks.

Just last month there were several threads running on signing a petition to the FDA to do something about the gluten labelling law - i.e., take the action they promised to take five years ago. You can be sure we all signed it.

At the moment eating a gluten free diet requires constant vigilance :ph34r:
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

I used Rice Dream rice milk for a while right after diagnosis because from all I read about it, it was considered safe. Like many certified gluten-free products, it is under the level deemed safe for celiacs. They are not "breaking a law" because there is no law--yet. I switched to Coconut milk because I preferred the taste.

In particular, this article by a noted celiac nurtritionist , Tricia Thompson, RD explains why this processing of barley is "safe".
In part, it reads:

"Barley enzymes, depending on how they are produced may or may not be “contaminated” with the barley prolamin hordein (i.e., the prolamin in barley harmful to persons with celiac disease).
According to the cereal chemists I have spoken with, testing for hordein contamination in barley enzyme preparations can be tricky. If the hordein protein remains intact, or mostly intact, the sandwich R5 ELISA can be used to assess hordein contamination. If the hordein protein has been broken down, the competitive R5 ELISA should be used.
To cover all their bases, Hain Celestial tested their barley enzyme preparation using both the R5 sandwich and competitive ELISAs. They also tested their rice base using both assays. All products tested contained below the limit of quantification for gluten. The limit of quantification for the R5 sandwich ELISA is 5 parts per million of gluten; for the R5 competitive ELISA the limit of quantification is approximately 5 parts per million of purified gliadin.
Please note that unlike the sandwich R5 ELISA where assay results are reported in parts per million of gluten, results for the competitive R5 ELISA are reported in micrograms of peptide per gram of food. The limit of quantification for the competitive R5 ELISA is 1,250 micrograms of peptide per gram of food which is approximately equal to 5 parts per million of purified gliadin.
Based on the results of the tests conducted by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, the barley enzyme preparation and rice base used by Hain Celestial in their Rice Dream beverages are gluten free and safe for gluten-free consumers."


but many people report feeling "glutened" from this product. Many people report feeling "glutened " by many products that others seem to tolerate just fine.

I do not agree that this is somehow your fault for using the product because even after researching it, you can see the company has been forthcoming with the information and like any other "gluten-free product", it is under the limit deemed "safe" by leading celiac specialists and researchers.

The bottom line is...there is no "Gluten Free Labeling Law" yet. We do have labeling laws for the top 8 allergens, but this then requires us to be good label readers, looking for rye, barley, malt and derivatives.

It is stalled ----and there are petitions you can sign.


You notice I use a lot of " these " in this reply. :DIt's because I did not know if I was "glutened" by the Rice Dream or not myself, as I was too sick after DX to tell what was working and what wasn't.
I stopped using all rice milk because I just found it bland. I even made my own, but it goes rancid rather quickly.

All I know is, it is supposedly testing well <under 20 ppm..
With all things gluten-free, if it makes you feel yucky, do not use it.
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

I just recently bought Kirkland Organic Rice Milk - Costco's brand. I emailed to make sure that they do not use barley enzymes. I heard back and they do NOT use any barley. It is gluten free and really good.
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

I got "got" by Rice Dream too:(. Pacific Brands rice milks are gluten-free.
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

Rice Dream "got " me too :ph34r:
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

It's like an initiation ritual when people discover that stuff was the culprit that was contributing to their still not feeling so good. I had someone on an internet board warn me off of it many years ago, and I was at first rather too stubborn to believe it. This was when I was less sensitive to cross contamination. Then I found canned coconut milk. :) I made my spouse drink the rest of the stash in the cupboard.

I have an opinion of registered dietians telling us something is "safe" which is made out of a base ingredient that is not "safe, :angry: " but is allegedly highly processed enough to pass some test, but I won't express it here :ph34r: <_< other than to state, there is always a level of failure when imperfect human beings are involved in any manufacturing process, and the simplest solution is the most obvious one, when selecting ingredients which are supposed to be free of an offending, problem ingredient, so the end result functions as it should.

That being said, as long as this product is stating on the box that it is made with barley, given our American crummy, voluntary labeling laws, that is still better than finding it out on the internet chat boards. But I'm not sure if it is on the box, as I don't have one, but I do see it listed on some online vendors descriptions. But when I'm pulling up an image search of the Rice Dream ingredient label, it's not on there. Is this what is happening, barley used in processing is still not on the box itself, which is ridiculous, or have they cleaned up their act with the box labeling ?
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

It's like an initiation ritual when people discover that stuff was the culprit that was contributing to their still not feeling so good.

Between this and the practically obligatory loaf of Ener-g bread, I would most definitely define this as an initiation ritual!! :P <_< :rolleyes:
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

I don't have a link for it, but the current gluten testing is not supposed to be reliable for barley contamination. There was a bit of news about it awhile back in relation to gluten-free beer testing, and that barley levels are not really accurately testable with current technology.

Rice Dream has been discussed on this forum as a problem many times in the past. Personally, It affected me so I quit drinking it years ago. There are plenty of other milk subs available. So it doesn't make sense to me to take a chance with something that is known to have a gluten ingredient in it. Even if they say it is removed, they can't accurately test it right now.

Signing the current petition is not a bad idea. The numbers of signers keep growing and that is good.
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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

Mae...Welcome to the forum. :)

Rice Dream got me too...and for almost 2 years. All the containers I ever purchased had a red and yellow triangle label on the front of them saying gluten free. And on the containers there was never ever mention of their using a barley enzyme.
When I came to this forum I saw a post in which it was mentioned that Rice Dream milk uses a barley enzyme. I spent quite a while researching around on the internet and finding quite a few reports of it affecting people. I also reseached barley enzyme testing and found reports that the barley enzyme testing can greatly underestimate the level of the barley protein.
I immediately stopped drinking it and 2 days later I noticed an agitated feeling I guess I just had gotten used to was gone. And I do believe it has prevented my intestinal healing.
I dumped 8 containers of Rice Dream down the drain. I was also mad enough to spit nails. And will never purchase any Hain product again.

I am glad you are starting to feel better.

Rice Dream is the only rice milk available in my area. Unforunately I even happen to live faily close to the plant where it is produced in my state. I have seen posts on this forum saying that either the Rice Dream container never stated it was gluten free or that it says it uses a barley enzyme on the container...apparently these people had different containers than I ever did. I know what I saw for near 2 years. All the containers were marked gluten free and never was there any mention of a barley enzyme being used. From what I could find out the barley is involved in the ingredient listed as partially milled brown rice.

I did try to make my own rice milk using a Vitamix. I found it a bit troublesome and it didn't taste that great anyway. I would do it again in a pinch if I had too but now I either drink Lactaid Milk or So Delicious brand coconut milk. I am somewhat limited because of corn and soy restrictions also and severe lactose intolerance.
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