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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    IS OAT SENSITIVITY THE OVERLOOKED CULPRIT IN CLAIMS OF GLUTEN IN CHEERIOS?


    Jefferson Adams


    • Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Winter 2017 Issue


    Celiac.com 12/13/2016 - One in five people with celiac disease have a sensitivity to oats. Could that be the real issue behind claims of adverse reactions to Cheerios and other General Mills products?


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    In an effort to answer questions regarding the safety of gluten-free Cheerios for people with celiac disease, we recently ran an article on warnings by the Canadian Celiac Association that Cheerios, and other General Mills cereals labeled 'Gluten-Free' are unsafe, are likely to be contaminated with trace amounts of gluten.

    Celiac.com found those claims to be lacking in evidence, and grounded mainly on unsupported claims that the proprietary process used by General Mills to sort oats is somehow problematic, and likely to permit 'hot spots' of gluten contamination that can exceed the 20ppm gluten-free FDA standard. Along with unsupported claims about General Mills' sorting process, the Canadian Celiac Association seems to base their opinion on vague claims of unnamed people with celiac disease suffering adverse reactions after eating the cereals.

    Yet, so far, no one has documented any actual problem with General Mills' method for sorting gluten-free oats, and certainly no one has shown any kind of a systemic problem, as the Canadian Celiac Association seems to allege. No evidence has been offered up to support any such claims. Again, to our knowledge, no one has provided any evidence of any actual gluten contamination in any box or batch of General Mills Gluten-Free cereals. Interestingly, that very lack of evidence to support claims of gluten contamination is cited by the Celiac Disease Foundation in its endorsement of General Mills Gluten-Free cereals.

    Recent scientific research has shown that around 8% of celiacs are sensitive to certain varieties of oats, and the Celiac Disease Foundation recently indicated in a response to a question on this topic posed by "cyclinglady," who is a Celiac.com board moderator, that nearly 20% of people with celiac disease may also suffer from oat sensitivity, and they suggest that oat sensitivity is the likely culprit behind any sensitivities to the product.

    The Celiac Disease Foundation's full letter was posted on Celiac.com's Gluten-Free Forum by cyclinglady reads as follows: "This is interesting. I sent an email asking the Celiac Disease Foundation about gluten-free Cheerios which they endorse/support, but the Canadian Celiac Disease Organization and the Gluten Free Watchdog do not? What do you all think?"

    She includes the
    , which reads:


    "Aside from the initial contamination in Cheerios when they were first put on the market, Cheerios has had no other issues with the gluten-free status of their cereals. Most people with celiac disease can tolerate gluten-free oats, however, about 20%
    *
    (sic-actual figure should be 8%, see note below)
    of the population with celiac disease cannot tolerate oats in any form, even if they are gluten-free. It's that population that should avoid Cheerios. Our Medical Advisory Board has no evidence that General Mills gluten-free cereals are not safe for celiac consumption. General Mills is a proud sponsor of Celiac Disease Foundation, and they understand the importance of safe gluten-free food to our community. In fact, we enjoy Cheerios at the National Office ourselves where half of us have celiac disease. Cheerios only need to be avoided by those with celiac disease who also cannot tolerate oats."

    So, once again, the Celiac Disease Foundation endorses General Mills Gluten-Free Cheerios, and by implication, Lucky Charms and other cereals, as safe for people with celiac disease, with no medical evidence to the contrary. However, they do recommend that people with oat sensitivities avoid oat products. This runs counter to the warning by the Canadian Celiac Association that General Mills products were "unsafe" and the General Mills "had problems" with its sorting process.

    The fact that the folks at the Celiac Disease Foundation, including those with celiac disease, say they eat Gluten-Free Cheerios provides another positive testimonial that Cheerios are safe for people with celiac disease. However, it really all boils down to basing any proclamations about gluten-free safety on actual evidence, not stories, or opinions, or things we heard.

    In their letter, the Celiac Disease Foundation notes that "Our Medical Advisory Board has no evidence that General Mills gluten-free cereals are not safe for celiac consumption."

    Until evidence appears to the contrary, the overwhelming evidence is that General Mills gluten-free Cereals, including Cheerios and Lucky Charms, among others, are safe for people with celiac disease, but should be avoided by anyone with oat sensitivities.

    Anyone claiming they are not safe for people with celiac disease is simply not basing their claim on hard evidence. Of course, people should base their diets on their own experience, especially people with celiac disease, and/or sensitivities to oats or other things beyond gluten.

     Stay tuned for news on this and other important gluten-free topics.

    Sources:

    This article was updated on 12/14/2016 to include more sources, and to clarify the CDF's letter that was posted in our forum.
    *Corrected to 8% on 12/14/2016 per CDF web site


    Image Caption: Are oats more likely to cause an issue for celiacs eating gluten-free Cheerios? Photo: Don O'Brien
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    Guest CyclingLady

    Posted

    The author failed to report the Gluten Free Watchdog´s stand on gluten-free Cheerios. This is an independent group who tests gluten-free products (comparable to Consumer Reports). They, along with the Canadian Association, do not recommend gluten-free Cheerios for reasons stated on their website. The author also failed to note that the CDF is sponsored by General Mills, which is obviously a conflict of interest. "For the past 25 years, Celiac Disease Foundation has fought tirelessly for the food industry to provide celiac disease patients, and those with gluten sensitivity, safe, abundant, and affordable dietary options. We were excited, therefore, that General Mills, our partner for many years in their gluten-free initiatives, asked us to share that one of America's most iconic breakfast cereals – Cheerios – can now be safely enjoyed by people who must maintain a strict gluten-free diet. I traveled to Minneapolis this past year and listened as General Mills outlined the millions of dollars it had invested in its sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping processes to assure that, going forward, Cheerios were indeed gluten-free. Thus, you can imagine how deeply disappointed we were to learn that nearly two million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios were being recalled by General Mills because of gluten contamination." Read more at https://celiac.org/blog/2015/10/marilyns-message-october-2015/#XJWgXQ705DTo6Mmk.99

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    The author failed to report the Gluten Free Watchdog´s stand on gluten-free Cheerios. This is an independent group who tests gluten-free products (comparable to Consumer Reports). They, along with the Canadian Association, do not recommend gluten-free Cheerios for reasons stated on their website. The author also failed to note that the CDF is sponsored by General Mills, which is obviously a conflict of interest. "For the past 25 years, Celiac Disease Foundation has fought tirelessly for the food industry to provide celiac disease patients, and those with gluten sensitivity, safe, abundant, and affordable dietary options. We were excited, therefore, that General Mills, our partner for many years in their gluten-free initiatives, asked us to share that one of America's most iconic breakfast cereals – Cheerios – can now be safely enjoyed by people who must maintain a strict gluten-free diet. I traveled to Minneapolis this past year and listened as General Mills outlined the millions of dollars it had invested in its sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping processes to assure that, going forward, Cheerios were indeed gluten-free. Thus, you can imagine how deeply disappointed we were to learn that nearly two million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios were being recalled by General Mills because of gluten contamination." Read more at https://celiac.org/blog/2015/10/marilyns-message-october-2015/#XJWgXQ705DTo6Mmk.99

    The focus of the article is the possibility that oat intolerance is actually causing anecdotal reports of wheat gluten contamination in Cheerios, which is covered here. gluten-free Watchdog cannot be, in any way, compared with Consumer Reports, and they have not, as far as we know, released the data on their Cheerios testing, which they promised to do in their blog on this topic. We invite them to do so.

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    I did not realize that so many people have oat intolerance. Perhaps General Mills can source varieties that are safe for celiacs?

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    I ate gluten-free cheerios on three occasions and had the same reaction that I get when I eat oat: canker sores, pimples in my butt, dandruff, etc. So, it is not a choice for me.

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    Every time my 25 year old eats Cheerios he is violently ill. I guess he has an oat sensitivity as well.

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    I was diagnosed with celiac disease over 40 years ago. I tried the gluten-free Cheerios and got deathly ill on them.

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    Guest Kristin

    Posted

    As a person with celiac disease who is equally intolerant of gliadin (wheat), hordein (barley), secalin (rye) and avenin (oats), this article makes a lot of sense. (Though, I have to say, the phrase "oat sensitivity" makes light of the actual experience!) I would love to see more research on those of us with celiac disease who get the autoimmune reaction to avenin (oats). Also, it would be great in the future to see "oats" and "cross-contamination with oats" called out on approved gluten-free labels to assist the unfortunate 8 to 20% (?) of us who can´t tolerate them. But it is nice that those with celiac disease who don't have the oats problem can enjoy Cheerios!

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    I am sensitive to oats as well as gluten-free oats. For the holidays, I would like to make gluten-free "oatmeal" cookies or a cranberry or cherry crumb topping bars (that the recipe calls for oats). Is there a substitute for something like oats (that provides the same texture)? Quinoa flakes?

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    Guest Mabel Wenger

    Posted

    I can eat oat cereals that are tested to 5ppm. They use certified gluten free oats: oats that never had contact with wheat or other grains unsafe for celiacs. Cheerios have too much gluten in their oats from contamination by contact with other grains from the process of harvesting and trucking. If you can tolerate them; good, in happy for you. I'm disappointed I still can't eat Cheerios, a favorite food of the past.

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    I am the 1 out of 5 that unfortunately can not eat general mills cereal. I have finely realized that I can not tolerate any form of oats. I am very careful with what I eat and when the gluten-free cereal first hit the market I gave it a try, several actually, always having the same ill effect. I now realized its the oats. I also have realized that the cream of rice that is suppose to be gluten-free, is also something I can not tolerate.

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    I penned this email to GM just over a year ago about this issue: "I write to express my concern with the growing trend in American food of reflexively labeling all oats that are not cross-contaminated with wheat or other grains as "gluten free" and "safe for celiacs." In the medical literature, the non-immunogenicity of oats is by no means solidified. In fact, it is likely that there may only be one or two strains of oats that do not cause immune reaction in celiacs. I don't know if GM or other companies who advertise "gluten free oats" are aware of this literature and only source oats of the strains thought not to be immunogenic in celiacs. If not, then I feel that declaring the oats safe for celiacs is not just misleading (if not outright false advertising), but also unethical. Even many well-informed celiacs are unaware of this body of literature, and if they take food manufacturers' claims in good faith, they may be completely unaware they could still be damaging their bodies by consuming these foods. A lion's share of responsibility falls on food manufacturers to be aware of this literature, inform their consumers about it, and source only the non-immunogenic strains of oats. Cheerios' latest 'fireside [breakfast table] chat' commercial endorsing gluten free Cheerios is extremely concerning to me. No acknowledgement of the controversy surrounding immunogenicity of oats is made, and the commercial portrays non-cross-contaminated oats as obviously gluten-free (which for all intents and purposes to celiac consumers means "non-immunogenic"), when this is NOT the case. I feel it is irresponsible and needlessly places celiac consumers at risk. Of course, it's readily assumed this move is being made because of the massive financial market that gluten-free foods have come to represent and GM's intent to cash in on this market. This growth of the gluten-free market has led to some unfortunate incidents of intentional deception--you might be familiar with a baker in North Carolina who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for knowingly selling non-gluten-free bread as gluten-free, sickening his customers. There's big money in gluten-free, and big money changes behavior. I would hope the ethics of GM upstanding enough to not consider that a similar process could be occurring in GM's marketing of gluten-free Cheerios, when the jury is so clearly out on the safety of oats. This hits at my concern about Cheerios' recent advertisement for gluten-free Cheerios, which is so different than the tenor of most Cheerios commercials. I would encourage you to have the GM food scientists review the following article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3524229/ and other articles such as these: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=oats+gluten As I am in healthcare, and having done large amounts of literature review since I was diagnosed with celiac disease 13 years ago, I do my best to scrutinize all companies' claims about gluten-free foods, not only for my own sake, but to keep companies above-board for the protection of the celiacs who don't have access to all the information. Thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns."Here was all the reply I got: "Thank you for contacting Cheerios. Your comments are important to our business. Please be assured that we will share them with the appropriate individuals."Hardly encouraging. I'm sure my email went straight into the trash. Money trumps all, and there is BIG big money in gluten free.

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    Guest tortoiseshell on white

    Posted

    The author failed to report the Gluten Free Watchdog´s stand on gluten-free Cheerios. This is an independent group who tests gluten-free products (comparable to Consumer Reports). They, along with the Canadian Association, do not recommend gluten-free Cheerios for reasons stated on their website. The author also failed to note that the CDF is sponsored by General Mills, which is obviously a conflict of interest. "For the past 25 years, Celiac Disease Foundation has fought tirelessly for the food industry to provide celiac disease patients, and those with gluten sensitivity, safe, abundant, and affordable dietary options. We were excited, therefore, that General Mills, our partner for many years in their gluten-free initiatives, asked us to share that one of America's most iconic breakfast cereals – Cheerios – can now be safely enjoyed by people who must maintain a strict gluten-free diet. I traveled to Minneapolis this past year and listened as General Mills outlined the millions of dollars it had invested in its sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping processes to assure that, going forward, Cheerios were indeed gluten-free. Thus, you can imagine how deeply disappointed we were to learn that nearly two million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios were being recalled by General Mills because of gluten contamination." Read more at https://celiac.org/blog/2015/10/marilyns-message-october-2015/#XJWgXQ705DTo6Mmk.99

    Cheerios "simply gluten-free" ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE!!!!!! Don't you get it! The labeling should say "CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE"! But the labeling does not say this!!! Let the gluten-free manufacturers make gluten-free cereal for celiac disease patients, like myself! I will never eat Cheerios ever AGAIN!!!!! If General Mills is having such a hard time with dealing with gluten contamination.....then let the gluten-free manufacturers create gluten-free cereal! Leave it alone! Just create your own cereal containing wheat! You are making celiac disease patients even sicker! Just please STOP MAKING Cheerios "simply gluten-free"! Just do it!!!! You are harming more people undue ill health. Look at what you are doing! You label for Cheerios "simply gluten-free" IS NOT, and I stress this tremendously, IS NOT GLUTEN-FREE! I plan to call the FDA and tell them to order you to stop making it!

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    Guest Ryan Michaels

    Posted

    I have known for a long time I may have more than one protein sensitivity, oats as well. Suspect I will be sickly the rest of my life. How unfortunate since this problem robs me of the better part of my happiness everyday. Thanks for the article, Hopefully it will help to enlighten people who are gluten free but, wonder why their still sick or sickly.

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    Guest Heather

    Posted

    I don't buy it, I can eat certified gluten-free oats just fine, zero reaction. The only time I have issues is when eating the supposedly gluten-free Cheerios. Has anyone actually tested the stuff for levels below 20ppm. This legal limit stuff is ridiculous!

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    My GI told me to avoid oats for the first year after celiac diagnosis. He said after that, most celiacs can tolerate oats (but some cannot). There was a lengthy scientific explanation that went with this advice. I followed his advice. I reintroduced oats at about 1.5 years gluten-free. I had the same reaction as I do to gluten. I went another year or so, and tried oats again...same reaction as I have to gluten...again. I've tried this a few times, using different sources of certified gluten-free oats. It's always the same. As much as I would love to be able to bake with gluten-free oats, it's just not in the cards for me. My GI (to simplify things here) basically said that Avenin (the protein in oats) so closely resembles Gliadin (in gluten), that the immune system can be "tricked" and launch the same autoimmune response when oats are ingested. A long break from both proteins would hopefully clear my body of the immune cells that were waiting in the wings (had already been called to response at one time and were now at the ready for any offenders). New introductions of oats, after a long break from both avenin and gliadin, would hopefully not generate the autoimmune reaction. I've had Celiac Disease for 3 years now. I've just resigned myself...I'm one of those unlucky people who also must avoid oats.

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    I have celiac disease and am able to eat gluten-free oatmeal all the time, but I always get sick after eating Cheerios. I tried to convince myself it was in my head or just coincidence but after about the 10th box (over a long period of time... not all at once), I finally gave up and realized I just can't eat Cheerios.

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    Guest Jack Hanley

    Posted

    The focus of the article is the possibility that oat intolerance is actually causing anecdotal reports of wheat gluten contamination in Cheerios, which is covered here. gluten-free Watchdog cannot be, in any way, compared with Consumer Reports, and they have not, as far as we know, released the data on their Cheerios testing, which they promised to do in their blog on this topic. We invite them to do so.

    There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there as to what is considered gluten free and what people with celiac disease can and cannot eat. This is only confounded by the inability of the different foundations trying to serve those with celiac disease in being able to come up with a single consensus, as your article states between the U.S. and the Canadian viewpoint. This might be addressed by a book that I just finished reading by Dr. Peter Osborne called ´No grain, no pain´ in which he points out that a lot of the symptoms and increase of symptoms or aggravation of symptoms is caused by consuming a so-called gluten-free diet. A lot of ingredients in foods he says still contain types of gluten that can aggravate autoimmune disease. One of them is quinoa, another is white rice where he recommends wild brown rice instead. Other things he says that cause flare-ups or aggravate the bowels or cause allergies which is a huge part of our immune system diseases is the use of plastic containers, sport water bottles or Tupperware type containers as chemicals from them can leach into food. The prevailing thought is that if you consume something and it doesn't kill you right away, then it's okay for you. But what I've seen in my daughter's case is the opposite. She was diagnosed as having celiac disease in 2009, and then put on a faithfully-followed gluten-free diet. Since then she has also developed colitis in 2012, and now this summer may also have Crohn's disease. The diet isn't working. Doctors don't seem to have a consensus of what to do except throwing different combinations of drugs at the situation. But the profound thing that the book addresses is the simple ma that we are what we eat. With all the processing of food that even if it's so-called gluten-free it´s still processed food. We need to get back to the basics of foods that we originally ate before giant food companies took over our diet with foods altered and packaged primarily for long shelf life and the convenience of ready to eat, and not necessarily what we need or can tolerate. After all our bodies weren't meant to consume all these chemicals and artificial ingredients that are pumped into them. It's no surprise that autoimmune diseases are on the rise with all of the artificial ingredients that are in our diet. I encourage everyone to read this book as I was a skeptic before I read it, but afterwards saw that it spelled out pretty clearly what my daughter's been going through even down to the cases of her having eczema, dandruff, bloating, sore joints, all of which are all addressed in the book. He also offers an alternative diet free of the things that trigger autoimmune disease. But the best part is that it's food that you buy in your local store, and not some diet club that you have to join. Pain in our daily life he claims is caused by grain intake, especially arthritis and migraines. But don't believe me, inform yourself like I did, and borrow it from the library if you're not sure before reading. After you read it you´ll buy it like I did for reference. Food for thought.

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    Guest Jefferson Adams

    Posted

    Cheerios "simply gluten-free" ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE!!!!!! Don't you get it! The labeling should say "CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE"! But the labeling does not say this!!! Let the gluten-free manufacturers make gluten-free cereal for celiac disease patients, like myself! I will never eat Cheerios ever AGAIN!!!!! If General Mills is having such a hard time with dealing with gluten contamination.....then let the gluten-free manufacturers create gluten-free cereal! Leave it alone! Just create your own cereal containing wheat! You are making celiac disease patients even sicker! Just please STOP MAKING Cheerios "simply gluten-free"! Just do it!!!! You are harming more people undue ill health. Look at what you are doing! You label for Cheerios "simply gluten-free" IS NOT, and I stress this tremendously, IS NOT GLUTEN-FREE! I plan to call the FDA and tell them to order you to stop making it!

    To our knowledge, there have been no confirmed reports of gluten contamination in Cheerios, or in other General Mills products labeled "gluten-free." Please let us know how the FDA responds to your complaint.

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    Guest Jefferson Adams

    Posted

    The author failed to report the Gluten Free Watchdog´s stand on gluten-free Cheerios. This is an independent group who tests gluten-free products (comparable to Consumer Reports). They, along with the Canadian Association, do not recommend gluten-free Cheerios for reasons stated on their website. The author also failed to note that the CDF is sponsored by General Mills, which is obviously a conflict of interest. "For the past 25 years, Celiac Disease Foundation has fought tirelessly for the food industry to provide celiac disease patients, and those with gluten sensitivity, safe, abundant, and affordable dietary options. We were excited, therefore, that General Mills, our partner for many years in their gluten-free initiatives, asked us to share that one of America's most iconic breakfast cereals – Cheerios – can now be safely enjoyed by people who must maintain a strict gluten-free diet. I traveled to Minneapolis this past year and listened as General Mills outlined the millions of dollars it had invested in its sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping processes to assure that, going forward, Cheerios were indeed gluten-free. Thus, you can imagine how deeply disappointed we were to learn that nearly two million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios were being recalled by General Mills because of gluten contamination." Read more at https://celiac.org/blog/2015/10/marilyns-message-october-2015/#XJWgXQ705DTo6Mmk.99

    I don't think accepting support from General Mills is necessarily a problem, as the CDF has a well-earned reputation for celiac disease support for many years now. The question is whether Cheerios are safe for people with celiac disease, and the answer so far seems to be "yes." Absent a smoking gun showing systematic gluten-contamination, I think it's reasonable to assume Cheerios are gluten-free. That said, people should not eat food that makes them sick, and should report any suspected gluten-contamination to the FDA and/or General Mills.

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    Guest WendyKat

    Posted

    Never was a huge Cheerios fan, but my husband likes the Honey Nut ones, so they're always around. I've had them maybe a dozen times since they went gluten free and have never had a problem. I've eaten Lucky Charms (which I *did* always love as a kid) several times since they went gluten-free also, and no problems.

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    What do you think? Have you tried gluten-free Cheerios? Will you? Are you happy that major companies like General Mills are making gluten-free products available?
    Read more: buzzfeed.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/02/2016 - General Mills seems to be having a hard time catching a break lately, especially when it comes to their new gluten-free options.
    After some minor good news that their new gluten-free versions of Cheerios breakfast cereal was driving a small increase in an otherwise falling cereal market, the company has found itself on the receiving end of several lawsuits.
    In the latest lawsuit, a Kentucky woman is suing the cereal producer over what she claims are misleading labels on their gluten-free products, including gluten-free Cheerios.
    In her class-action lawsuit filed Dec. 18 in the Eastern District of California, Jacklyn Haddix, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, alleges that General Mills, General Mills Sales, General Mills Operations, and Does 1-50, engaged in "unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, negligence and violations of Kentucky and California consumer protection laws."
    The suit states that after General Mills began to advertise and distribute its gluten-free Cheerios products throughout the U.S., in September, the Food and Drug Administration received consumer reports of adverse reactions from people who had eaten gluten free-labeled Cheerios.
    On Oct. 5, after FDA tests of 36 Cheerios samples that certain samples contained gluten levels well above the mandated limit for products labeled gluten-free.
    General Mills subsequently recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios. Two days later, the company revealed finished product testing had not been performed on the recalled Cheerios, according to the suit.
    Haddix and others in the suit seek "compensatory, exemplary, punitive, and statutory damages, plus return of purchase prices, interests, reimbursement, disgorgement, and attorney fees and costs" exceeding $5 million.
    Stay tuned for more developments on this and other gluten-free product lawsuits.
    Source:
    legalnewsline.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/17/2016 - Cereal-maker General Mills is looking to patent method and system for manufacturing gluten-free oats.
    The application for patent protection covers numerous mechanical separation processes on a variety of grains, including oat grains and gluten-containing grains, using, among other things, width grading steps, multiple length grading steps, aspirating steps and a potential de-bearding step.
    Federal labeling regulations require products labeled 'gluten-free' to have gluten levels below 20 ppm. The process allow the production of oat grains with gluten levels below 20 parts per million, and optimally at 10 ppm.
    The resulting oats are gluten-free oats and suitable for use in a variety of gluten-free oat food products, including cereal and granola products, according to the patent US 2016/0207048 A1, filed on July 21st 2016.

    Mechanical separation techniques, such as these covered by the patent application, have the potential to be highly efficient and economical. The patent does not mention more expensive optical systems.
    Oats are naturally gluten-free, but, according to the patent, "oats cultivated in North America, Europe and other parts of the world commonly are contaminated by gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale."
    Contamination can result from rotating grains on the same crop land, and from harvesting, transporting, storing and merchandising.
    General Mills experienced problems with wheat contamination of gluten-free products last year, when they were forced to recall an estimated 1.8 million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios at its Lodi, Calif., plant. The product was contaminated with gluten. However, the company has maintained that the gluten contamination was due to an employee processing error, not any defect in their grain sorting equipment covered under the patent protection.
    Stay tuned to find out if General Mills receives their patent, and if their process has a significant impact on the quality, availability and cost of gluten-free oats.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/28/2016 - Quaker Oats UK has launched several gluten-free oat products, including a free-from variant and a yogurt-based breakfast pouch range. Available since late September, the new gluten-free offering comes in a 510g can of Traditional Rolled Oats, and a 350g box of 10 Oat So Simple packets.
    "Leading a gluten-free lifestyle is important and necessary for some people, and so Quaker has created options to meet consumer demand," says PepsiCo's Jeremy Gibson, marketing director, nutrition.
    The launch follows the introduction earlier this month of Oat & Fruit Breakfast, an on-the-go pouch line made with fruit purée and natural yogurt that comes in three flavors: Red Fruits, Apple & Cinnamon, and Blueberry.
    The products will be sold exclusively at UK's Tesco stores, and will be promoted with an aggressive social media campaign and in-store marketing.
    Calling Oat & Fruit Breakfast "unique to the market" Duncan McKay, PepsiCo's senior marketing manager for grains UK, expressed excitement over the new product range, which come "as demand for convenient breakfast options is at a peak."
    Stay tuned for more information on gluten-free products from Quaker, and other manufacturers.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/31/2017 - A press release by the Canadian Celiac Association announcing a label change for General Mills' Cheerios is drawing confusion and questions from numerous corners of the gluten-free community.
    The press release is also drawing pushback from General Mills, which called the CCA press release "inaccurate," and said it was "not based on facts."
    General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas says that "the only thing the CCA got right is that General Mills is changing its label in Canada." Everything else, Siemienas, claimed, was based on opinion, not facts.
    Siemienas added that General Mills has made efforts to work with the CCA, but that the organization "had its opinions formed" in advance, and seemed unmoved by facts.
    Regarding Cheerios, a statement by General Mills reads: 

    "Each serving of Cheerios products in Canada are gluten free, as defined by the current regulatory standard of containing less than 20 ppm of gluten. General Mills Canada has made the decision to voluntarily remove the gluten-free label from our Cheerios products in Canada until Health Canada and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) publish a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats. At this time the product is not changing, just the label on the box. We look forward to labeling the Cheerios products in Canada as gluten free once consensus is reached on a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats."
    The full text of the original CCA press release appears below, but since this article was written: "The CCA retracts its statement of October 20, 2017 and replaces it with this statement due to errors in the original statement.":

    October 20, 2017 (Mississauga, ON) The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has made an announcement that the words "gluten-free" will be removed from all Cheerios package sold in Canada by January 1, 2018.
    The Canadian Celiac Association first objected to the claim in August 2016 and strongly recommended that people with celiac disease not consume the cereal, even though the box was labelled "gluten free".
    The announcement came in a letter addressed to a Canadian consumer who was one of many customer complaints to be filed against the products.
    "We are delighted to hear that the regulators have determined that the claim must be removed from the packages", said Melissa Secord, Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association. "Based on the advice of the members of our Professional Advisory Board, the experts of the Gluten-Free Certification Program, and other professionals working in the field, we believe that there is not adequate evidence to support the claim. When added to many reports from consumers with celiac disease reacting to eating the cereal, we believe this is the safe recommendation for Canadians."
    The CCA will follow up closely with the CFIA and Health Canada to continue to monitor this decision along with other products sold in Canada to ensure access to safe foods for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
    The CCA is currently working on a grant from Agriculture and Agrifood Canada to examine the scope of gluten contamination in oats grown in Canada, and to determine where the contamination occurs as the oats a processed (field, harvest, transport, processing). The project is scheduled to be completed in March 2018.
    Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.
    Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. In the case of wheat, gliadin has been isolated as the toxic fraction. It is the gluten in the flour that helps bread and other baked goods bind and prevents crumbling. This feature has made gluten widely used in the production of many processed and packaged foods.
    The Canadian Celiac Association, the national voice for people who are adversely affected by gluten, is dedicated to improving diagnosis and quality of life.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/27/2017 - Cereal maker General Mills has announced that it will no longer label their flagship cereal Cheerios as gluten-free in Canada.
    Has Canada Changed its Gluten-free Standards?
    No, the standard for labeling gluten-free foods in Canada remains same, at up to 20 ppm allowable gluten. Such foods are safe for the vast majority of people with celiac disease, according to both U.S. and Canadian regulatory agencies, the EU, celiac researchers and numerous celiac disease support groups. Health Canada, the agency responsible for setting food safety standards in Canada says that gluten levels below 20 ppm are safe for people with celiac disease. That is also the standard for gluten-free products in the United States and the EU.
    Have Cheerios Changed?
    No, the Gluten-Free Cheerios sold in the U.S. are the same Cheerios that are sold in Canada now, and the same Cheerios that will be sold in Canada after the labeling change. Cheerios routinely test below 20 ppm, and are currently labeled as gluten-free in both the U.S., and Canada. Cheerios has not been the subject of a mandated recall in with the U.S. or in Canada, which indicates that the product remains safe for the vast majority of people with celiac disease. So, Why is Cheerios Changing its Label in Canada?
    It comes down to a technicality over oat testing standards. Canadian labeling laws require manufacturers follow a specific testing requirement for products made with oats, such as Cheerios. Under that Canadian testing requirement, oat products with gluten levels above 5 ppm, but under 20 ppm are considered "Investigative," a status under which the agency "notifies the regulated party of the result." They then "follow up with the regulated party to determine the source of the gluten." Moreover, the agency advises "the regulated party, such as General Mills in the case of Cheerios, to review their Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and process controls." The agency may require "corrective action."
    As a result, cereal maker General Mills has announced that it will no longer label their flagship cereal Cheerios as gluten-free in Canada.
    General Mills stands by its testing process and said Cheerios sold in the U.S. will continue to carry the gluten-free label. A statement by General Mills reads: GM: 
    "Each serving of Cheerios products in Canada are gluten free, as defined by the current regulatory standard of containing less than 20 ppm of gluten. General Mills Canada has made the decision to voluntarily remove the gluten-free label from our Cheerios products in Canada until Health Canada and
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) publish a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats. At this time the product is not changing, just the label on the box. We look forward to labeling the Cheerios products in Canada as gluten free once consensus is reached on a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats."
    Comments made by both General Mills and the CFIA suggest the decision to remove the gluten-free labels from Cheerios stem from an issue around how products containing oats are tested for gluten in Canada.
    According to CBC News, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that the move by General Mills to remove the gluten-free label was voluntary, and said the company had "informed" the agency of its plans in August.
    "This was a business decision made by the company and not a directive from the CFIA," the statement said.
    The statement from GM continues: "While Gluten-Free Cheerios products comply with the gluten-free standards in Canada and the United States, we have made the decision to remove the gluten-free label from our Cheerios products in Canada until the government agencies publish a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats. At this time the product is not changing, just the label on the box.
    For nearly a decade, General Mills has served consumers with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities. Since Gluten Free Rice Chex was launched in 2008, General Mills has grown its portfolio of gluten-free products to more than 1,000 items. It is now the second largest provider of gluten-free foods, including seven varieties of Cheerios, in the U.S. The company has also introduced gluten-free products in more away-from-home food outlets like restaurants and schools, and in new regions such as Canada and Europe."
    GM spokesperson Mike Siemienas said the company was waiting for "Health Canada and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) [to] publish a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats," and that General Mills looks forward to labeling the Cheerios products as gluten-free once consensus is reached on a consistent testing protocol."
    So, while Cheerios will no longer carry a gluten-free label in Canada, Canadian standards for gluten-free products have not changed, and remain the same as American standards, at up to 20 ppm allowable gluten. The Cheerios sold in Canada are no different than Cheerios sold in the United States, where they will still carry a gluten-free label.
    So, only the Canadian label will change. Cheerios will remain the same. On either side of the border, people with celiac disease can continue to enjoy Cheerios with confidence.
    Those with oat sensitivity, or who react to high fiber levels, should use their own judgement about Cheerios, as with any other product.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/19/2017 - The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) finds itself facing questions of rumor-mongering and inaccuracy in the face of its ongoing comments about General Mills and Gluten Free Cheerios.
    The CCA recently retracted a controversial October 20 press release in the face of questions about the accuracy and validity of its statements. The retraction reads as follows: "The CCA retracts its statement of October 20, 2017 and replaces it with this statement due to errors in the original statement." They retracted every claim made in the first press release. 
    In addition to its erroneous, and now retracted press release, the CCA has made numerous public statements casting doubt on the process General Mills uses to create their Gluten-Free Cheerios, and other oat-based cereal products. The CCA has spread fear and confusion about the gluten-free status of Cheerios, and implied widespread gluten contamination in Cheerios. For example, the following statement attributed to the CCA was published on October 26, 2017 by Globalnews.ca: "[CCA] expressed doubt in the company's mechanical sorting system and claim of 100 per cent removal of cross-contaminants."
    Additionaly, Canadiangrocer.com reported in August 2016 that the CCA was, to paraphrase, "awaiting evidence showing the new line [of Gluten Free Cheerios] is 100% free of gluten." The article quotes Sue Newell, the CCA Manager, Education and Special Projects, as saying: "Our fear is that there are hot spots in their oats. Any given box may be fine, but every third or fifth box may not."
    Canadiangrocer.com has quoted the CCA's Manager making a very specific claim about the gluten-free status of Cheerios. If her claim is correct it would mean that 20% to 30% of all Cheerios boxes are contaminated with gluten above 20 ppm, and General Mills is producing millions of boxes of tainted cereal per month which are fraudulently labeled "gluten-free." When Celiac.com invited Sue Newell to further clarify her position she would neither confirm nor deny making the quotes, but instead said that her quotes were simply "media impressions." Although Celiac.com requested more clarification, Ms. Newell would not respond to further written questions (re-printed below) about her "media impressions." 
    Celiac.com also requested that the CCA produce any evidence to back up their claims, but so far the CCA hasn't produced anything. In response to our questions (re-printed below), which mostly remain unanswered, the CCA demurred with vague claims about general levels of gluten contamination in raw oats, and even more vague claims about the unreliability of optical sorting systems in removing gluten. They referred to studies that, after further review, appear to be unrelated to General Mills' proprietary sorting and production processes.
    CBC reported on August 31 2016, that the "Canadian Celiac Association is warning against gluten-free Cheerios products over concerns the cereal is not 100 per cent safe for people with celiac disease." What does the CCA mean by "100 percent safe for people with celiac disease?" To our knowledge General Mills has never made the claim that their sorting process results in "100 percent removal" of gluten from the oats used in their Cheerios. It is our understanding that General Mills has only ever claimed that their process results in gluten levels under 20 ppm, which allows them to be labeled "gluten-free" in both the USA and Canada, and as such they are considered safe to consume for those with celiac disease. When Celiac.com asked the CCA to provide a source for the "100% free of gluten" General Mills claim, or for clarification of her "100 per cent safe for people with celiac disease" statement, no response was provided. 
    Is the CCA hinting that the labeling standard for gluten-free products should be 0 ppm allowable gluten? Again, they would not answer this question.  It seems that the CCA made this recommendation and their associated statements based not on independent product testing, or on any confirmed accounts of gluten-exposure in people with celiac disease who had consumed Cheerios, but instead on anecdotal evidence and innuendo. 
    For their part, General Mills has at least publicly described their optical sorting process, and have gone on the record as saying that their raw unsorted oats contain anywhere from 200 ppm to 1,000 ppm gluten. They describe exactly how their sorting process reduces the gluten content in their oats to below 20 ppm, and how they then pulverize, process, and mix their sorted oats to make Cheerios (from Celiac.com's perspective it is this milling/pulverizing and mixing process that should eliminate any chance of "hot spots"). They have even applied for a patent on their optical sorting technology, and in order to receive this patent their process needs to function as described. Ultimately General Mills stands by their product every day by putting a "Gluten Free" label on every box right next to their trade mark. 
    Remember Paul Seelig? Back in 2011, before we even had gluten-free labeling laws in the USA, he sold regular bread that was labeled as "gluten-free." He was tried and convicted of fraud and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. The idea that people can just slap a gluten-free label on a product that contains gluten above 20 ppm and somehow escape our judicial system, whether it be private attorneys who sue them or criminal prosecutors, is highly unlikely.
    Ultimately the CCA is calling General Mills, Health Canada and the FDA into question when they make unfounded claims based solely on fear and innuendo. The CCA is also casting doubt on U.S. and Canadian gluten-free standards. If 20% to 30% of Cheerios contain "hot spots" of gluten contamination, then why can't the CCA, or anyone else, produce a single box that is tainted? Where are the trial lawyers who ought to be lining up to sue them?
    Cheerios are are subject to regular, random testing by both Health Canada and the FDA. The FDA recently tested major American gluten-free brands for gluten-free labeling compliance and found that 99.5% of products tested are compliant with current gluten-free standards. The FDA found just one non-compliant product out of the hundreds they tested. They worked with the manufacturer to recall the tainted product and correct the manufacturing process. There is no indication that the non-compliant product was Cheerios or any other General Mills product.
    In this case the burden of proof for such extraordinary claims lies with the CCA, and not with General Mills. Someone can claim that the Earth is flat, or that humans never walked on the moon, however, the burden of disproving such claims doesn't lie with scientists who spent their entire lives creating a massive body of evidence which support what are now generally accepted facts, but with those making the extraordinary claims. Accordingly, it is only fair that the CCA must back up their claims with more than the equivalent of a vague conspiracy theory, which to disprove, would require General Mills to literally test every piece of cereal in every box of Cheerios (i.e., billions of boxes).
    General Mills returned our telephone calls and freely answered our questions. They provided a reasonable description of their sorting process and answered our questions about it. The CCA has been coy and evasive when questioned about their past statements, their claims about Cheerios, and their stance on the 20 ppm gluten-free standard, or any other standard for gluten-free labeling. Until such time as the CCA stands by their statements, and until they provide actual evidence to back up their claims, their claims should be regarded with skepticism.
    In their reply to our questions, the CCA included three links to articles they feel support their position on oats:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623493  Koerner et al 2011 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814616312614  Fritz et. al 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijfs.13288/full Fritz et al 2016 Celiac.com addresses those studies in a separate article, entitled: Why Do Quaker and General Mills Approach Gluten-Free Oats Differently?
    Questions Emailed to the CCA by Celiac.com, followed by their response:

    QUESTIONS FOR THE CCA REGARDING CHEERIOS GLUTEN-FREE LABELING AND RELATED ISSUES:
    The standard for under 20 ppm allowable gluten in gluten-free foods remains unchanged. in Canada, the US, and the EU. The standard is supported by Health Canada, which says that gluten levels under 20 ppm are safe for the vast majority of people with celiac disease. The 20 ppm standard is also supported by the CFIA, the FDA, the EU, by scientific and medical data, and by all major celiac disease researchers.
    QUESTIONS:
    1) Health Canada says that 20 ppm gluten is safe for celiacs. Does the CCA believe and support that standard?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    If not, what standard is safe, according the CCA?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    2) Health Canada allows up to 5 ppm gluten in "Marketing Authorization" oats. Obviously, gluten content above 0 but under 5 ppm is not "100% gluten-free. Does the CCA have any problem with such "gluten-free" oats?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    3) With respect to the gluten-free Cheerios products in Canada, Candiangrocer.com reported in August 2016 that the CCA was, to paraphrase, "awaiting evidence showing the new line is 100% free of gluten." Is that still the position of the CCA?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    4) The Candiangrocer.com article also states: "Our fear is that there are hot spots in their oats," said Newell. "Any given box may be fine, but every third or fifth box may not." Is the CCA asserting that 20% to 30% of Cheerios boxes are contaminated with gluten? What is the basis for this claim? Is the CCA forming policy based actual official test results?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    5) Similarly, the CBC reported on August 31 2016, that the "Canadian Celiac Association is warning against gluten-free Cheerios products over concerns the cereal is not 100 per cent safe for people with celiac disease." Can you clarify what you mean by "100% gluten-free" and "100 percent safe for people with celiac disease?"
    ANSWER: No Response.
    6) In a recent article published in October 26, 2017, Globalnews.ca writes "[CCA] expressed doubt in the company's" mechanical sorting system and claim of 100 per cent removal of cross-contaminants. https://globalnews.ca/news/3826328/celiac-association-applauds-general-mills-decision-to-pull-gluten-free-label-from-cheerios/  
    ANSWER: No Response.
    7) Again, can CCA clarify what it means by "100 percent removal" of gluten?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    8) Also, we are unaware of General Mills ever making a claim that their sorting process results in a "100 percent removal" of gluten from the oats used to makes Cheerios, only that their process results in gluten levels under 20 ppm, and within the range for labeling product as gluten-free. Can CCA provide any source for General Mills ever making a claim that their sorting process for oats results in a 100 percent removal of all gluten?
    [ http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Research/2017/10/General_Mills_details_gluten-d.aspx?ID=%7BD74CACED-0224-49C3-951A-4E62E87AA243%7D&cck=1 ]
    ANSWER: No Response.
    9) Is it the position of the CCA that the standard for gluten-free labeling should be 0 ppm allowable gluten? If so, how would that be measured? What products would be able to makes such a claim?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    10) Does the CCA have any scientific data that shows that gluten levels under 20 ppm are dangerous or harmful for people with celiac disease?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    11) Does the CCA have any scientific data or medical testing to show that Cheerios do not meet the 20 ppm standard for gluten?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    12) If Cheerios meet US FDA standards for gluten-free products, and routinely test at below 20 ppm gluten, does the CCA feel removing the gluten-free label in Canada makes people with celiac disease any safer? If yes, how?
    ANSWER: No Response.
    13) Regarding CCA claims of member complaints about Cheerios: Is it not possible that people who claim an adverse reaction to Cheerios are actually having a reaction to the avenin protein in oats, or to higher fiber in oats?
    ANSWER: No Response.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/18/2018 - Evidence compiled by Quaker Oats shows that 4% of the purity protocol oats the company uses to make "gluten-free" oatmeal products are contaminated with trace amounts of gluten. Overall, these batches may contain under 20 ppm gluten, and thus be considered gluten-free. But somehow, isolated kernels of wheat, barley or rye flakes were making their way into the final oatmeal products and onto store shelves.
    Because these kernels were rolled flat the same way as the oats, it was possible for one of these flakes to find its way into a bowl of otherwise gluten-free oats, and to render the bowl over the 20 ppm standard, meaning it is technically not gluten-free, according to FDA standard.
    Quaker found a solution in a stricter testing method. The testing method used by Quaker mirrors the testing method recently adopted by the CFA. Under that method, "oat groats are collected from gluten-free oat production following a robust attribute-based sampling plan then split into 75-g subsamples, and ground. R-Biopharm R5 sandwich ELISA R7001 is used for analysis of all the first 15-g portions of the ground sample.
    A less than 20-ppm result disqualifies the production lot, while a greater than 5 to less than 20-ppm result triggers complete analysis of the remaining 60-g of ground sample, analyzed in 15-g portions.
    If all five 15-g test results are less than 20 ppm, and their average is less than 10.67 ppm (since a 20-ppm contaminant in 40 g of oats would dilute to 10.67 ppm in 75-g), the lot is passed.
    Most oatmeal is made from rolled whole oats. That means that, even with just 4% gluten contamination, products made with whole oats, even rolled oats, can contain pockets of gluten that might render a given serving over the 20 ppm standard. Because Quaker, or their oat supplier, lacks a sorting process for eliminating or reducing gluten-contamination in its raw purity protocol oats, and because its oatmeal is minimally processed, the problem of loose individual flakes of wheat, barley or rye remains unsolved at the manufacturing level. This is true for Quaker in a way that is not true for General Mills.
    No matter how much Quaker mixes rolled oats, a single wayward flake of wheat, rye or barley will remain intact and eventually turn up in a serving portion. That's true, even if it's just an isolated flake. That means that Quaker must look for a solution in its supply chain.
    So, Quaker's approach makes sense for products made with whole oats. However, the challenges faced by Quaker in making gluten-free oatmeal are substantially different than the challenges faced by General Mills in making a product like Cheerios. That's because of differences in the processes used to make the two products.
    Because General Mills uses a process to sort its raw oats to below 20 ppm allowable gluten, and because it then grinds the raw oats into oat flour, there is no danger that intact flakes of wheat, rye or barley will make their way into any given serving. The flour is mixed thoroughly, and, thus, any flour from the wayward oat flake is now blended evenly into the rest of the batch. The oat flour is then mixed further with other ingredients to become the raw material for making Cheerios.
    So, it's extremely unlikely that Cheerios would suffer from the types of gluten "hotspots" that Quaker found in their supposedly gluten-free purity protocol oats. The process greatly increases the likelihood that any gluten would be evenly distributed into the final product, and thus be gluten-free below 20 ppm at the serving level.
    Essentially, the two studies by scientists at Quaker show a couple of things. First, whole oats, and products made with whole oats, even those labeled gluten-free, even those which are harvested as "purity protocol," can contain isolated pockets or "hotspots" of gluten. This may mean that these products can cause symptoms in people with celiac disease. People with celiac disease should be vigilant about these products. Trust your gut and eat accordingly. Second, the data gathered, and the conclusions reached, by the Quaker scientists regarding Quaker's efforts to produce gluten-free oatmeal, have little or no connection to General Mills and the process used to make Cheerios.
    It would be a mistake to project Quaker's challenges onto General Mills. For its part, it seems that General Mills has actually solved the challenges of removing wheat, rye and barley from oats to reach levels below 20 ppm, and to manufacture products that reflect that gluten-free status. General Mills has solved the challenge at the manufacturing level in a way Quaker has not.
    For all its refined testing procedures, Quaker is still reliant on its suppliers to deliver gluten-free oats. Somewhere, somehow the problem of quantifying the gluten content of raw oats and rendering that level to be within gluten-free standards still has to be solved.
    Quaker is relying on oat growers and suppliers to solve the problem, to develop a way to quantify and reduce the gluten contamination levels of raw "purity protocol" oats. Perhaps Quaker might benefit from optical sorting technology, or other processes that allow them to exert more control over their finished product at the manufacturing level?
    Celiac.com is not alone in saying that optically sorted oats likely safe. That view is also held by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
    Read articles on the original studies by scientists at Quaker Oats at Food Chemistry, and the International Journal of Food Science Technology.
    Sources:
    Food Chemistry. Volume 240, 1 February 2018, Pages 391-395 Int J Food Sci Technol, 52: 359–365.  DOI: 10.1111/ijfs.13288 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijfs.13288/full General Mills Describes the Success of its Gluten Detection System

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    Tammy Rhodes
    Celiac.com 04/24/2018 - Did you know in 2017 alone, the United States had OVER TENS OF THOUSANDS of people evacuate their homes due to natural disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis? Most evacuation sites are not equipped to feed your family the safe gluten free foods that are required to stay healthy.  Are you prepared in case of an emergency? Do you have your Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag ready to grab and go?  
    I have already lived through two natural disasters. Neither of which I ever want to experience again, but they taught me a very valuable lesson, which is why I created a Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag (see link below). Here’s my story. If you’ve ever lived in or visited the Los Angeles area, you’re probably familiar with the Santa Ana winds and how bitter sweet they are. Sweet for cleaning the air and leaving the skies a brilliant crystal blue, and bitter for the power outages and potential brush fires that might ensue.  It was one of those bitter nights where the Santa Ana winds were howling, and we had subsequently lost our power. We had to drive over an hour just to find a restaurant so we could eat dinner. I remember vividly seeing the glow of a brush fire on the upper hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains, a good distance from our neighborhood. I really didn’t think much of it, given that it seemed so far from where we lived, and I was hungry! After we ate, we headed back home to a very dark house and called it a night. 
    That’s where the story takes a dangerous turn….about 3:15am. I awoke to the TV blaring loudly, along with the lights shining brightly. Our power was back on! I proceeded to walk throughout the house turning everything off at exactly the same time our neighbor, who was told to evacuate our street, saw me through our window, assuming I knew that our hillside was ablaze with flames. Flames that were shooting 50 feet into the air. I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. The fire department was assured we had left because our house was dark and quiet again. Two hours had passed.  I suddenly awoke to screams coming from a family member yelling, “fire, fire, fire”! Flames were shooting straight up into the sky, just blocks from our house. We lived on a private drive with only one way in and one way out.  The entrance to our street was full of smoke and the fire fighters were doing their best to save our neighbors homes. We literally had enough time to grab our dogs, pile into the car, and speed to safety. As we were coming down our street, fire trucks passed us with sirens blaring, and I wondered if I would ever see my house and our possessions ever again. Where do we go? Who do we turn to? Are shelters a safe option? 
    When our daughter was almost three years old, we left the West Coast and relocated to Northern Illinois. A place where severe weather is a common occurrence. Since the age of two, I noticed that my daughter appeared gaunt, had an incredibly distended belly, along with gas, stomach pain, low weight, slow growth, unusual looking stool, and a dislike for pizza, hotdog buns, crackers, Toast, etc. The phone call from our doctor overwhelmed me.  She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I broke down into tears sobbing. What am I going to feed my child? Gluten is everywhere.
    After being scoped at Children's Hospital of Chicago, and my daughters Celiac Disease officially confirmed, I worried about her getting all the nutrients her under nourished body so desperately needed. I already knew she had a peanut allergy from blood tests, but just assumed she would be safe with other nuts. I was so horribly wrong. After feeding her a small bite of a pistachio, which she immediately spit out, nuts would become her enemy. Her anaphylactic reaction came within minutes of taking a bite of that pistachio. She was complaining of horrible stomach cramps when the vomiting set in. She then went limp and starting welting. We called 911.
    Now we never leave home without our Epipens and our gluten free food supplies. We analyze every food label. We are hyper vigilant about cross contamination. We are constantly looking for welts and praying for no stomach pain. We are always prepared and on guard. It's just what we do now. Anything to protect our child, our love...like so many other parents out there have to do every moment of ever day!  
    Then, my second brush with a natural disaster happened, without any notice, leaving us once again scrambling to find a safe place to shelter. It was a warm and muggy summer morning, and my husband was away on a business trip leaving my young daughter and me to enjoy our summer day. Our Severe Weather Alert Radio was going off, again, as I continued getting our daughter ready for gymnastics.  Having gotten used to the (what seemed to be daily) “Severe Thunderstorm warning,” I didn’t pay much attention to it. I continued downstairs with my daughter and our dog, when I caught a glimpse out the window of an incredibly black looking cloud. By the time I got downstairs, I saw the cover to our grill literally shoot straight up into the air. Because we didn’t have a fenced in yard, I quickly ran outside and chased the cover, when subsequently, I saw my neighbor’s lawn furniture blow pass me. I quickly realized I made a big mistake going outside. As I ran back inside, I heard debris hitting the front of our home.  Our dog was the first one to the basement door! As we sat huddled in the dark corner of our basement, I was once again thinking where are we going to go if our house is destroyed. I was not prepared, and I should have been. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Once the storm passed, we quickly realized we were without power and most of our trees were destroyed. We were lucky that our house had minimal damage, but that wasn’t true for most of the area surrounding us.  We were without power for five days. We lost most of our food - our gluten free food.
    That is when I knew we had to be prepared. No more winging it. We couldn’t take a chance like that ever again. We were “lucky” one too many times. We were very fortunate that we did not lose our home to the Los Angeles wildfire, and only had minimal damage from the severe storm which hit our home in Illinois.
      
    In 2017 alone, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had 137 natural disasters declared within the United States. According to FEMA, around 50% of the United States population isn’t prepared for a natural disaster. These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime and some without notice. It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent of a gluten free family member. Now, add a natural disaster on top of that. Are you prepared?
    You can find my Gluten Free Emergency Food Bags and other useful products at www.allergynavigator.com.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
    The research team included G Longarini, P Richly, MP Temprano, AF Costa, H Vázquez, ML Moreno, S Niveloni, P López, E Smecuol, R Mazure, A González, E Mauriño, and JC Bai. They are variously associated with the Small Bowel Section, Department of Medicine, Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital; Neurocience Cognitive and Traslational Institute (INECO), Favaloro Fundation, CONICET, Buenos Aires; the Brain Health Center (CESAL), Quilmes, Argentina; the Research Council, MSAL, CABA; and with the Research Institute, School of Medicine, Universidad del Salvador.
    The team enrolled fifty adults with symptoms and indications of celiac disease in a prospective cohort without regard to the final diagnosis.  At baseline, all individuals underwent cognitive functional and psychological evaluation. The team then compared celiac disease patients with subjects without celiac disease, and with healthy controls matched by sex, age, and education.
    Celiac disease patients had similar cognitive performance and anxiety, but no significant differences in depression scores compared with disease controls.
    A total of thirty-three subjects were diagnosed with celiac disease. Compared with the 26 healthy control subjects, the 17 celiac disease subjects, and the 17 disease control subjects, who mostly had irritable bowel syndrome, showed impaired cognitive performance (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively), functional impairment (P<0.01), and higher depression (P<0.01). 
    From their data, the team noted that any abnormal cognitive functions they saw in adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease did not seem not to be a result of the disease itself. 
    Their results indicate that cognitive dysfunction in celiac patients could be related to long-term symptoms from chronic disease, in general.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 1. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001018.

    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
    I have been writing articles for Scott Adams since the 2002 Summer Issue of the Scott-Free Press. The Scott-Free Press evolved into the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. I felt honored when Scott asked me ten years ago to contribute to his quarterly journal and it's been a privilege to write articles for his publication ever since.
    Due to personal health reasons and restrictions, I find that I need to retire. My husband and I can no longer travel the country speaking at conferences and to support groups (which we dearly loved to do) nor can I commit to writing more books, articles, or menus. Consequently, I will no longer be contributing articles to the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. 
    My following books will still be available at Amazon.com:
    Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies Student's Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies Wheat-free Gluten-free Dessert Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Reduced Calorie Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults (revised version) My first book was published in 1996. My journey since then has been incredible. I have met so many in the celiac community and I feel blessed to be able to call you friends. Many of you have told me that I helped to change your life – let me assure you that your kind words, your phone calls, your thoughtful notes, and your feedback throughout the years have had a vital impact on my life, too. Thank you for all of your support through these years.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
    Under the deal, personalized digital media company Catalina will be joining forces with Label Insight. Catalina uses consumer purchases data to target shoppers on a personal base, while Label Insight works with major companies like Kellogg, Betty Crocker, and Pepsi to provide insight on food label data to government, retailers, manufacturers and app developers.
    "Brands with very specific product benefits, gluten-free for example, require precise targeting to efficiently reach and convert their desired shoppers,” says Todd Morris, President of Catalina's Go-to-Market organization, adding that “Catalina offers the only purchase-based targeting solution with this capability.” 
    Label Insight’s clients include food and beverage giants such as Unilever, Ben & Jerry's, Lipton and Hellman’s. Label Insight technology has helped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) build the sector’s very first scientifically accurate database of food ingredients, health attributes and claims.
    Morris says the joint partnership will allow Catalina to “enhance our dataset and further increase our ability to target shoppers who are currently buying - or have shown intent to buy - in these emerging categories,” including gluten-free, allergen-free, and other free-from foods.
    The deal will likely make for easier, more precise targeting of goods to consumers, and thus provide benefits for manufacturers and retailers looking to better serve their retail food customers, especially in specialty areas like gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
    Source:
    fdfworld.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/19/2018 - Previous genome and linkage studies indicate the existence of a new disease triggering mechanism that involves amino acid metabolism and nutrient sensing signaling pathways. In an effort to determine if amino acids might play a role in the development of celiac disease, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate if plasma amino acid levels differed among children with celiac disease compared with a control group.
     
    The research team included Åsa Torinsson Naluai, Ladan Saadat Vafa, Audur H. Gudjonsdottir, Henrik Arnell, Lars Browaldh, and Daniel Agardh. They are variously affiliated with the Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Karolinska University Hospital and Division of Pediatrics, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institute, Sodersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Diabetes & Celiac Disease Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; and with the Nathan S Kline Institute in the U.S.A.
    First, the team used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to analyze amino acid levels in fasting plasma samples from 141 children with celiac disease and 129 non-celiac disease controls. They then crafted a general linear model using age and experimental effects as covariates to compare amino acid levels between children with celiac disease and non-celiac control subjects.
    Compared with the control group, seven out of twenty-three children with celiac disease showed elevated levels of the the following amino acids: tryptophan; taurine; glutamic acid; proline; ornithine; alanine; and methionine.
    The significance of the individual amino acids do not survive multiple correction, however, multivariate analyses of the amino acid profile showed significantly altered amino acid levels in children with celiac disease overall and after correction for age, sex and experimental effects.
    This study shows that amino acids can influence inflammation and may play a role in the development of celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764