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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/07/2018

      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 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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    P.F. CHANG'S PESKY GLUTEN-FREE DISABILITY LAWSUIT WON'T GO AWAY JUST YET


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 01/04/2016 - Does P.F. Chang's Asian Bistro discriminate against people with celiac disease by charging more for gluten-free dishes than for their non-gluten-free counterparts? A complaint filed in federal court says it does, and a ruling by a federal judge means that the lawsuit against P.F. Chang's over its gluten-free menu won't be dismissed just yet.


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    Photo: CC--Mark CrowleyThat means a class action lawsuit against P.F. Chang's for allegedly charging more for gluten-free menu items can continue. Judge Ronald Whyte's Nov. 23 order denied the company's motion to dismiss plaintiff Anna Marie Phillips' first amended complaint.

    "Neither party has cited, and the court has not found, any case specifically discussing whether celiac disease constitutes a disability under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or Unruh Act," Whyte wrote in his 13-page ruling. "However, accepting the additional detail in the FAC (first amended complaint) about the consequences of ingesting or being exposed to gluten, which plaintiff must guard against, plaintiff has pled sufficient facts to support her claim that she has a disability that impacts a major life activity.

    "The court notes that on a more complete factual record, the court might reach a different conclusion."

    Phillips sued P.F. Chang's in a California state court last December. Chang's then successfully moved the case to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Basically, the outcome of the move to dismiss hinges on whether or not celiac disease constitutes a disability under the state's Unruh Act.

    In his order last month, Whyte concluded that Phillips, in her new complaint, pled sufficient facts to claim that the immune reaction to eating gluten meets the definition of a "medical condition" under the state's Unruh Act for people with celiac disease.

    The law specifically outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, marital status or sexual orientation. In her amended complaint, Phillips also claims that celiac disease is an "inheritable and hence genetic characteristic."

    P.F. Chang's argues that the plaintiff must allege that she actually inherited characteristics known to cause disease under the second prong of the "medical condition" definition.

    At stake in the lawsuit is whether or not P.F. Chang's, and, by extension, other restaurants can charge more money for gluten-free food than they do for similar, non-gluten-free menu items.

    The restaurant chain first moved to dismiss Phillips' class action in February, claiming her celiac disease does not make her a disabled person under the ADA. It urged Whyte to dismiss the lawsuit before the entire restaurant industry was impacted.

    Whyte heard oral arguments in May. According to the case's docket, the motion to dismiss was "tentatively granted" at the hearing, with a final ruling to be issued by the court later.

    In August, the judge granted P.F. Chang's motion to dismiss Phillips' original complaint. Whyte ruled that the plaintiff failed to allege facts showing that the restaurant chain discriminated against her and other guests with celiac disease or a gluten allergy/intolerance, by charging $1 more for some gluten-free menu items compared to non-gluten-free versions of menu items with a similar name but prepared and handled much differently.

    However, Whyte granted Phillips a leave to amend. In doing so, the judge expressed his "reservations" about whether the plaintiff could ever state a viable claim under her discrimination theory. Phillips filed her first amended complaint soon after.

    In September, P.F. Chang's filed a motion to dismiss the new complaint, arguing that it asserts the same disability-discrimination claims and offers "few additional facts" and "none that warrant a different result."

    But a detailed list of Phillips' symptoms and reactions when ingesting gluten forced the judge to change his mind.

    As to whether or not the lawsuit will gain traction, stay tuned.


    Image Caption: P.F Chang continues to seek the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that they discriminate by charging more for gluten-free food. Photo: CC--Mark Crowley
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    Guest Christine White

    Posted

    This lawsuit is going to make it more difficult for those of us with celiac to go out to eat. What restaurant in it's right mind should have to lose money on me whenever I eat there. We all know it costs more to eat gluten-free. Therefore it costs more for restaurants to provide me with gluten-free pasta, buns, soy sauce, pizza dough, etc. Therefore if I want to eat gluten-free foods, I will need to pay more to do so. Restaurants are in business to make money. They provide a service to customers. They name their price. If you do not like the price, then don't eat there. You have no RIGHT to expect the same price for gluten-free food when it costs more for the restaurant to buy and prepare for you than it's non gluten-free counterpart. If you don't want to pay for that luxury, then eat elsewhere.

     

    All this lawsuit is going to do is decrease the number of restaurants that offer us gluten-free options when we dine out. I for one and ecstatic to have the opportunity for myself and my daughter to get to eat at a restaurant and have a semblance of a "regular" meal. I for one do not expect someone else to subsidize my celiac disease. I for one am rational and am happy to pay for the privilege of eating a yummy gluten-free burger with an actual bun -- not lettuce wrapped around it. Or to eat a great tasting pizza. Or to eat excellent Chinese food with gluten-free soy sauce prepared at a good restaurant.

     

    What I am NOT happy about is that people like Anna Marie Phillips could ruin this for the rest of us who live in the real world. The rest of us need to speak up and let restaurants know we are delighted they offer gluten-free options and for $1 more we will pay for those.

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    Guest Kelvin S.

    Posted

    If PF Chang's were providing the exact same food and service, but charging more because someone asks for it to be gluten-free, that would be discrimination. If it is providing something different--for instance, using a different preparation process to ensure non-contamination, using different ingredients--then it's hard to understand how one can claim discrimination based on a medical condition. While a store or restaurant might choose to price different offerings the same, I don't see how they can legally be compelled to do so. Should other diners be compelled to pay the cost of higher-priced ingredients for my benefit? Won't this just discourage restaurants to accommodate special needs? Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

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    Guest Alex Giasson

    Posted

    I'm afraid of what's going to happen with gluten-free menus all over the country if P.F.Chang's doesn't win again. In many places, you are getting a $1 or $2 overcharge for the gluten-free option. I'm afraid that restaurants will stop giving a gluten-free option if they can not charge for the trouble. I'd rather pay $2 more than my wife and be able to dine out than being forced of eating home because there's no gluten-free option. I know that celiac disease is not a choice. However, it's the restaurant owner's choice to give us a chance to eat out or not. Don't give them a good reason to quit offering it.

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    Guest Jared M

    Posted

    Anna Marie Phillips is doing a huge disservice to the celiac community. Restaurants will just quit offering gluten-free items in response to this. She should reconsider this lawsuit.

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    Guest Jonas Tesla

    Posted

    I don't mind paying a bit more for gluten-free choices and frankly, going to court over a few dollars is what's wrong with this country. However, what I would support is a ruling that said all restaurants must provide gluten-free alternatives for 20% of their main courses.

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    I agree with the comments everyone has made. I have been gluten-free for 5 years and have been to PF Chang's many times. They are the BEST Chinese food around and I appreciate the fact that I can go out and eat and not have to worry about contamination. I wish people would just accept the fact that you are going to pay more for gluten-free food.

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    Great, what we need is someone litigating so as to dampen the motivation for restaurants to be helpful to those of us who require gluten-free.

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    Oh for.goodness sake. Get a life. Yes, we pay more for a gluten-free meal. Thank you for taking the extra time and care with my meal. Yes, I gladly pay a couple extra dollars for your trouble. And no, you are not that disabled. Either eat at home or go somewhere else. You choose to eat where you want. I have no patience or this kind of person!

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    What would follow a win for Phillips would be devastating to all people with celiac disease; as similar law suits would certainly start to appear against manufacturers and grocery stores for charging more for a gluten free version of the same products. This would result is a lack of availability and take us back 25 years to when almost nothing gluten free was available; and even pasta had to be made from scratch by hand.

     

    We were one of those families; and trust me Ms. Phillips, you do not want to go there.

     

    We are more than happy to pay the extra few dollars for gluten free options; and are thrilled that restaurants like P. F. Chang's are willing to accommodate us.

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    This lawsuit is going to make it more difficult for those of us with celiac to go out to eat. What restaurant in it's right mind should have to lose money on me whenever I eat there. We all know it costs more to eat gluten-free. Therefore it costs more for restaurants to provide me with gluten-free pasta, buns, soy sauce, pizza dough, etc. Therefore if I want to eat gluten-free foods, I will need to pay more to do so. Restaurants are in business to make money. They provide a service to customers. They name their price. If you do not like the price, then don't eat there. You have no RIGHT to expect the same price for gluten-free food when it costs more for the restaurant to buy and prepare for you than it's non gluten-free counterpart. If you don't want to pay for that luxury, then eat elsewhere.

     

    All this lawsuit is going to do is decrease the number of restaurants that offer us gluten-free options when we dine out. I for one and ecstatic to have the opportunity for myself and my daughter to get to eat at a restaurant and have a semblance of a "regular" meal. I for one do not expect someone else to subsidize my celiac disease. I for one am rational and am happy to pay for the privilege of eating a yummy gluten-free burger with an actual bun -- not lettuce wrapped around it. Or to eat a great tasting pizza. Or to eat excellent Chinese food with gluten-free soy sauce prepared at a good restaurant.

     

    What I am NOT happy about is that people like Anna Marie Phillips could ruin this for the rest of us who live in the real world. The rest of us need to speak up and let restaurants know we are delighted they offer gluten-free options and for $1 more we will pay for those.

    I agree 100%. This woman is doing the gluten free community a disservice by continuing with this lawsuit.

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    Guest Sage Ferdinand

    Posted

    Very clear that most with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity/intolerance do not agree with the plaintiff. I'm grateful for having PF Chang's as a safe option for dining out. We should have some dine in/take out nights where we can band together to show our support for PF Chang's and other restaurants that offer safe options.

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    This lawsuit is going to make it more difficult for those of us with celiac to go out to eat. What restaurant in it's right mind should have to lose money on me whenever I eat there. We all know it costs more to eat gluten-free. Therefore it costs more for restaurants to provide me with gluten-free pasta, buns, soy sauce, pizza dough, etc. Therefore if I want to eat gluten-free foods, I will need to pay more to do so. Restaurants are in business to make money. They provide a service to customers. They name their price. If you do not like the price, then don't eat there. You have no RIGHT to expect the same price for gluten-free food when it costs more for the restaurant to buy and prepare for you than it's non gluten-free counterpart. If you don't want to pay for that luxury, then eat elsewhere.

     

    All this lawsuit is going to do is decrease the number of restaurants that offer us gluten-free options when we dine out. I for one and ecstatic to have the opportunity for myself and my daughter to get to eat at a restaurant and have a semblance of a "regular" meal. I for one do not expect someone else to subsidize my celiac disease. I for one am rational and am happy to pay for the privilege of eating a yummy gluten-free burger with an actual bun -- not lettuce wrapped around it. Or to eat a great tasting pizza. Or to eat excellent Chinese food with gluten-free soy sauce prepared at a good restaurant.

     

    What I am NOT happy about is that people like Anna Marie Phillips could ruin this for the rest of us who live in the real world. The rest of us need to speak up and let restaurants know we are delighted they offer gluten-free options and for $1 more we will pay for those.

    Christine, that was beautifully and accurately said. I agree with you completely. The woman who is suing PF Changs for them charging $1 more for a gluten-free dish is a complete IDIOT!. This is going to only cause more restaurants for not be troubled with providing gluten-free foods. gluten-free foods DO COST MORE MONEY ! IT'S A FACT! Restaurants need to make money not lose money!

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    Guest C Tucker

    Posted

    I do agree there needs to be more awareness about celiac disease. However, I am happy when there is a gluten free option on a menu- I get real sick of eating salad. I expect to pay more...because that's what the grocery stores etc...tell me. I can't eat the 89 cent loaf of bread. If I want a quality bread it is $9 a loaf. Over nine times more expensive. If I were a restaurant owner I would just eliminate the gluten-free option. Too much trouble...especially if I had to worry about getting sued. I sincerely hope they do not!

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    I don't mind paying a bit more for gluten-free choices and frankly, going to court over a few dollars is what's wrong with this country. However, what I would support is a ruling that said all restaurants must provide gluten-free alternatives for 20% of their main courses.

    All stores and restaurants charge more for gluten free items, I think it's terrible, but we need the choice in our restaurants. If your going to sue one restaurant than you need to sue them all and the stores. It would not be fair just signaling out one. The restaurant probably pays more for the gluten free product just as we do and needs to charge more. I believe this suit against P F Changs is not fair. At least they are providing a chance to buy gluten free articles on the menu. Most restaurants don't. Don't let this lawsuit make restaurants stop having this choice for gluten-free patrons.

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    Actually, I eat regularly at several lovely, small, local restaurants that don't charge extra for gluten-free, and they don't charge extra so I know that it can be done. We all know that it costs more to buy gluten-free products. What I don't know is whether it actually costs 400% more to make those gluten-free products, or if the industry is charging that much because they can. If the industry is charging more because they can, then that most definitely is discrimination. Do restaurants charge a dollar extra to sit at a handicap-accessible table? Or to provide elevator service?

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    Guest Caroline

    Posted

    Completely agree with the others. We are delighted to just be out and dine with our family of which two members have diagnosed celiacs . It is always more money for gluten free items, as these items simply cost more. I hope this doesn't blow it for us!!

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    I'm afraid of what's going to happen with gluten-free menus all over the country if P.F.Chang's doesn't win again. In many places, you are getting a $1 or $2 overcharge for the gluten-free option. I'm afraid that restaurants will stop giving a gluten-free option if they can not charge for the trouble. I'd rather pay $2 more than my wife and be able to dine out than being forced of eating home because there's no gluten-free option. I know that celiac disease is not a choice. However, it's the restaurant owner's choice to give us a chance to eat out or not. Don't give them a good reason to quit offering it.

    I ate at PF Chang's restaurant in Santa Monica only because it was recommended and was delighted how delicious the gluten-free dish was and supremely reasonably priced it was.

    That Phillips woman needs to get a life and stay home and cook her own meals. We don't need people like her making it bad for the rest of us who would like to get out to a nice place and enjoy fine dining with family and friends. She needs to withdraw her lawsuit!! STUPID IDIOT!!!

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    This lawsuit is going to make it more difficult for those of us with celiac to go out to eat. What restaurant in it's right mind should have to lose money on me whenever I eat there. We all know it costs more to eat gluten-free. Therefore it costs more for restaurants to provide me with gluten-free pasta, buns, soy sauce, pizza dough, etc. Therefore if I want to eat gluten-free foods, I will need to pay more to do so. Restaurants are in business to make money. They provide a service to customers. They name their price. If you do not like the price, then don't eat there. You have no RIGHT to expect the same price for gluten-free food when it costs more for the restaurant to buy and prepare for you than it's non gluten-free counterpart. If you don't want to pay for that luxury, then eat elsewhere.

     

    All this lawsuit is going to do is decrease the number of restaurants that offer us gluten-free options when we dine out. I for one and ecstatic to have the opportunity for myself and my daughter to get to eat at a restaurant and have a semblance of a "regular" meal. I for one do not expect someone else to subsidize my celiac disease. I for one am rational and am happy to pay for the privilege of eating a yummy gluten-free burger with an actual bun -- not lettuce wrapped around it. Or to eat a great tasting pizza. Or to eat excellent Chinese food with gluten-free soy sauce prepared at a good restaurant.

     

    What I am NOT happy about is that people like Anna Marie Phillips could ruin this for the rest of us who live in the real world. The rest of us need to speak up and let restaurants know we are delighted they offer gluten-free options and for $1 more we will pay for those.

    I completely agree. This woman is hurting celiacs all over the world. We have all fought so hard to have restaurants accommodate us and because of one woman all of us may suffer.

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    This lawsuit is going to make it more difficult for those of us with celiac to go out to eat. What restaurant in it's right mind should have to lose money on me whenever I eat there. We all know it costs more to eat gluten-free. Therefore it costs more for restaurants to provide me with gluten-free pasta, buns, soy sauce, pizza dough, etc. Therefore if I want to eat gluten-free foods, I will need to pay more to do so. Restaurants are in business to make money. They provide a service to customers. They name their price. If you do not like the price, then don't eat there. You have no RIGHT to expect the same price for gluten-free food when it costs more for the restaurant to buy and prepare for you than it's non gluten-free counterpart. If you don't want to pay for that luxury, then eat elsewhere.

     

    All this lawsuit is going to do is decrease the number of restaurants that offer us gluten-free options when we dine out. I for one and ecstatic to have the opportunity for myself and my daughter to get to eat at a restaurant and have a semblance of a "regular" meal. I for one do not expect someone else to subsidize my celiac disease. I for one am rational and am happy to pay for the privilege of eating a yummy gluten-free burger with an actual bun -- not lettuce wrapped around it. Or to eat a great tasting pizza. Or to eat excellent Chinese food with gluten-free soy sauce prepared at a good restaurant.

     

    What I am NOT happy about is that people like Anna Marie Phillips could ruin this for the rest of us who live in the real world. The rest of us need to speak up and let restaurants know we are delighted they offer gluten-free options and for $1 more we will pay for those.

    Excellent response! I too love the fact that I am able to enjoy a meal out in a restaurant and hold an actual menu with a list of gluten-free options! Please don't let one bad apple spoil it for the rest of us.

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    Guest Barbara

    Posted

    I certainly agree with the others that this lawsuit will make it more difficult for celiacs to eat out. My hubby was diagnosed with celiac almost 20 years ago and it was extremely difficult to ever eat out. We are so thankful that so many restaurants have taken the time and put forth the extra effort to make sure we are able to get a safe meal. We regularly pay the extra $1 or $2 for gluten free buns or pasta because it does cost more as we all know!

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    I ate at PF Chang's last night and had the gluten-free spicy chicken and gluten-free lettuce wraps. They should charge more, as it costs more for certain ingredients, more money to train employees and they have special equipment and a special area of the kitchen designated as gluten-free to avoid cross contamination. I travel a ton for work, and am grateful to folks like PF Chang's that go out of their way as they have. If the charge wasn't for the increase in cost, and just "because they could," then I would feel differently. I belong to a major airline lounge who won't let me bring in my own food to eat. Considering the only thing they have that is gluten free is an alcohol drink mix, I'm pretty sure they're not making a reasonable accommodation as outlined in Title 3 of the ADA. I don't expect them to prepare me gluten-free food, I just want to eat what I bring from home in peace. By the way, there was a lawsuit that upheld Celiac with the ADA: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/01/16/college-dining-halls-latest-challenge-gluten-free/ZGWMFABp0ruPI87L8BV8wM/story.html

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    Oh for.goodness sake. Get a life. Yes, we pay more for a gluten-free meal. Thank you for taking the extra time and care with my meal. Yes, I gladly pay a couple extra dollars for your trouble. And no, you are not that disabled. Either eat at home or go somewhere else. You choose to eat where you want. I have no patience or this kind of person!

    Who are you to say if this person is disabled or not!! I was on my death bed from celiac and it has taken me 20 years to get into the good place I am now but am still disabled. All celiacs have different degrees of the disease. Being and autoimmune disease each person can have zero to a multitude of other disorders/health aliments, my list is long as I had much damage that was irreversible.

    As for P.F. Changs, most if not all of their gluten-free options are the same as the non gluten-free options, their is no difference in ingredients!!! They simply have a different station that they cook them at and different plates so it costs P.F. Changs NOTHING to provide us with our gluten-free food, hence we are being ripped off!!!

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    Guest admin

    Posted

    Who are you to say if this person is disabled or not!! I was on my death bed from celiac and it has taken me 20 years to get into the good place I am now but am still disabled. All celiacs have different degrees of the disease. Being and autoimmune disease each person can have zero to a multitude of other disorders/health aliments, my list is long as I had much damage that was irreversible.

    As for P.F. Changs, most if not all of their gluten-free options are the same as the non gluten-free options, their is no difference in ingredients!!! They simply have a different station that they cook them at and different plates so it costs P.F. Changs NOTHING to provide us with our gluten-free food, hence we are being ripped off!!!

    How can you assume that offering different preparation stations, areas for plates and utensils, training for everyone who works there, ingredients (yes, they do use gluten-free soy and other sauces which do cost more), etc. would cost this chain nothing? Of course it costs them, but they also see a potential return on their investment. Do you think suing them will make them charge the same? What about suing gluten-free bread makers to make their breads cost the same? This is the worst strategy and will backfire for celiacs as restaurant chains DO NOT need to cater to us.

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    I agree with the majority here that paying a little more to have safe options when eating out is what we have come to expect. What I'm questioning is WHY this has come about! Sugar-free items for diabetics are not more expensive in restaurants. Why has the food industry in general been gouging those of us with a gluten issue???? I resent forking over my hard earned money for special products. I eat out but I bring a small, discreet set of items to help me out because dairy and soy make me very ill too. I bring a bun in a sandwich baggy, a tiny container of soy-free Mayo and soy and dairy free butter, almond coconut milk or creamer for my coffee and if eating Chinese I bring coconut aminos and ask for steamed veggies, plain chicken and plain brown rice. For breakfasts out I make my own toast before I leave, wrap it in foil and bring it with. Most places are unprepared or just don't notice if you have your own things along just so long as you order a decent/normal meal from them. It's my way of fighting back against ridiculously inflated prices. It doesn't cost them $1-2 extra per gluten-free bun. They are just going with the I industry standards that have come about.

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    admin
    Celiac.com 02/02/2015 - On December 9th, 2014, Anna Marie Phillips filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court against P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, for discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit claims that P.F. Chang's forces people with celiac disease to pay higher prices for gluten-free versions of their menu items. According to the complaint, P.F. Chang's charges one extra dollar per gluten-free item, however, they do not add these surcharges on to their regular menu items.
    The lawsuit is seeking class action status, and claims that over the past four years more than 3,000 people in 39 states have been affected at P.F. Chang's 204 restaurants. The plaintiff claims that the gluten-free diet is medically necessary for those with celiac disease, and those who eat at P.F. Chang's are forced to pay higher prices for gluten-free dishes, even if the dishes they order are naturally gluten-free. The plaintiff asserts that this arbitrary and unequal treatment constitues discrimination against consumers who have celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and that the added surcharge is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    In the lawsuit Ms. Phillips and her attorneys, Anthony J. Orshansky and Justin Kachadoorian of Counselone, P.C. in Beverly Hills, California, seek an immediate injunction against any further surcharges on gluten-free items, civil penalties, compensatory damages and punitive damages. P.F. Chang's is represented by Jon P. Karbassakis and Michael K. Grimaldi of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, in Los Angeles, California.
    On January 23, 2015, P.F. Chang's removed the case to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (case number 5:15-cv-00344).
    Source:
    legalnewsline.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/05/2015 - Should restaurants be required to provide gluten-free food at the same prices it charges for regular gluten-containing items? That question is at the heart of a lawsuit brought by a woman who claims P.F. Chang's has violated federal anti-discrimination laws by charging more for gluten-free items. A federal judge has now "tentatively" dismissed that lawsuit.
    P.F. Chang's had asked the judge in February to dismiss Anna Marie Phillips' class action lawsuit, claiming that her celiac disease does not make her a disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act. At that time, lawyers for Chang's urged U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte to dismiss the suit to prevent what they termed a 'negative impact' upon restaurant industry as a whole.
    Phillips originally sued P.F. Chang's in a California state court in December, but the case was later moved to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to the motion, the dismissal rests largely on the failure of the plaintiff "to plausibly allege that she is disabled under any applicable statute since her condition constitutes only a minimal limitation on the major life activity of eating."
    In words that may raise the eyebrows of many people impacted by celiac disease, the judge goes on to say that the plaintiff can "still consume all gluten-free foods. No authority supports plaintiff's baseless position that she is disabled." P.F. Chang's also maintained that, because it charges the same price to all customers of its gluten-free items, it is charging based on the food cost, not adding a surcharge based on the gluten-free status of the customer, and is thus not discriminating on the basis of disability.
    The class action suit states that because a gluten-free diet is medically necessary for individuals with celiac disease, gluten-free patrons have no choice but to order at the higher price.
    Phillips brought suit on behalf of persons with celiac disease or gluten intolerance who ordered items from P.F. Chang's gluten-free menu in California within four years prior to the suit.
    In an interesting legal wrinkle, the CEO of the Celiac Disease Foundation said in a February Legal Newsline article that it did not agree with Phillips' claims.
    "Celiac Disease Foundation recognizes that restaurants bear a financial burden for the employee training and other accommodations that are required to serve meals that are safe for those with celiac disease," Marilyn G. Geller said.
    P.F. Chang's cited the article in its motion to dismiss.
    What do you think? If P.F. Chang's provide gluten-free food in accordance with the law, must it provide the food at the same price as its non-gluten-free items, or can it charge more to reflect its costs?
    Read more at: Legalnewsline.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/16/2015 - P.F. Chang's seeking to dismiss an amended complaint filed by a woman who claims the restaurant chain violated federal anti-discrimination laws by charging higher prices for gluten-free items than for non-gluten-free items.
    Plaintiff Anna Marie Phillips initially sued P.F. Chang's in California state court in December, but P.F. Chang's got the case moved to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
    Lawyers for P.F. Chang's first moved to dismiss Phillips' class action in February, claiming her celiac disease does not make her a disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal Judge Ronald Whyte heard oral arguments in May, and "tentatively granted" the motion to dismiss, with a final ruling to be issued later.
    In August, the federal judge granted P.F. Chang's motion to dismiss Phillips' original complaint. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to allege facts showing that the restaurant chain discriminated against her and other guests with celiac disease or a gluten allergy/intolerance, by charging $1 more for some gluten-free menu items compared to non-gluten-free versions of menu items with a similar name but prepared and handled much differently.
    However, Whyte did grant Phillips a leave to amend, while expressing his "reservations" that she could ever mount a viable claim using her discrimination theory.
    P.F. Chang's, in its Sept. 24 motion to dismiss the amended complaint, contends the new complaint asserts the same disability-discrimination claims and offers "few additional facts" and "none that warrant a different result."
    The plaintiff asserts, P.F. Chang's notes, that the gluten-free menu items are "essentially the same" and are "not truly different dishes" because they have the same basic ingredients.
    What do you think? Are restaurants wrong to charge more for gluten-free food? Share your thoughts and opinions below.
    Read More: Legalnewsonline.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/16/2015 - Just a month after General Mills recalled nearly two million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios from store shelves and warehouses due to "inadvertent" gluten contamination, the company and its flagship brand Cheerios are facing yet another public relations challenge.
    General Mills is being sued for false advertising by a major consumer watchdog over its Cheerios Protein cereal, introduced in March, 2014, as a "healthy alternative" to both classic Cheerios and other breakfast cereals. According to an official complaint filed with the Northern California District Court by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), "General Mills falsely and misleadingly markets Cheerios Protein to children and adults as a high protein, healthful alternative to Cheerios."
    According to General Mills’ official marketing language, Cheerios Protein "offers the benefits that go along with starting the day with 11g of protein and the great taste of Cheerios that kids and parents already know and love."
    According to the CSPI, while Cheerios Protein does contain a tiny bit more protein than classic Cheerios, General Mills has nearly doubled the recommended serving size for Cheerios Protein, making its protein content seem much greater than it actually is. So, while the "recommended serving size" of original Cheerios is 28g, the recommended serving of Cheerios Protein is 55g.
    When you crunch the numbers, Cheerios Protein only has just 7/10 of a gram more protein than regular Cheerios, hardly a major source of protein, or a major improvement over regular Cheerios.
    In their complaint, CSPI is accusing General Mills of engaging in what amounts to marketing sleight-of-hand, to trick consumers into paying an average of 70 cents more per box than other brands of Cheerios, for a product that contains an insignificant amount of extra protein, but 17 times more sugar than classic Cheerios.
    Yes, even though they have about the same amount of protein by weight, a serving of original Cheerios contains just 1g of sugar, while a serving of Cheerios Protein will give you a whopping 17g of sugar; about the same as half a can of Coke. Basically, eating two bowls of original Cheerios will give you about the same amount of protein as Cheerios Protein, but with far less sugar, and at a lower cost. 
    That's where the lawsuit comes in. Basically, CSPI is hoping to use the courts to pressure General Mills to remove or revise their marketing cliams, which CSPI says, are little more than smoke and mirrors.
    Stay tuned for the latest developments on this and related stories.
    Read more at Inquisitr.com
     

  • Recent Articles

    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

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/18/2018 - To the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service animals.
    If you’ve flown anywhere lately, you may have seen them. People flying with their designated “emotional support” animals. We’re not talking genuine service animals, like seeing eye dogs, or hearing ear dogs, or even the Belgian Malinois that alerts its owner when there is gluten in food that may trigger her celiac disease.
    Now, to be honest, some of those animals in question do perform a genuine service for those who need emotional support dogs, like veterans with PTSD.
    However, many of these animals are not service animals at all. Many of these animals perform no actual service to their owners, and are nothing more than thinly disguised pets. Many lack proper training, and some have caused serious problems for the airlines and for other passengers.
    Now the major airlines are taking note and introducing stringent requirements for service animals.
    Delta was the first to strike. As reported by the New York Times on January 19: “Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest US airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger’s need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight.… This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals — pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities — carried onboard since 2015.… Delta said that it flies some 700 service animals a day. Among them, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders, and other unusual pets.”
    Fresh from an unsavory incident with an “emotional support” peacock incident, United Airlines has followed Delta’s lead and set stricter rules for emotional support animals. United’s rules also took effect March 1, 2018.
    So, to the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service and emotional support animals.
    Source:
    cnbc.com

    admin
    WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?
    Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects around 1% of the population. People with celiac disease suffer an autoimmune reaction when they consume wheat, rye or barley. The immune reaction is triggered by certain proteins in the wheat, rye, or barley, and, left untreated, causes damage to the small, finger-like structures, called villi, that line the gut. The damage occurs as shortening and villous flattening in the lamina propria and crypt regions of the intestines. The damage to these villi then leads to numerous other issues that commonly plague people with untreated celiac disease, including poor nutritional uptake, fatigue, and myriad other problems.
    Celiac disease mostly affects people of Northern European descent, but recent studies show that it also affects large numbers of people in Italy, China, Iran, India, and numerous other places thought to have few or no cases.
    Celiac disease is most often uncovered because people experience symptoms that lead them to get tests for antibodies to gluten. If these tests are positive, then the people usually get biopsy confirmation of their celiac disease. Once they adopt a gluten-free diet, they usually see gut healing, and major improvements in their symptoms. 
    CLASSIC CELIAC DISEASE SYMPTOMS
    Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, gas, weight loss, and malnutrition, among others.
    LESS OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS
    Celiac disease can often less obvious symptoms, such fatigue, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, anemia, to name a few. Often, these symptoms are regarded as less obvious because they are not gastrointestinal in nature. You got that right, it is not uncommon for people with celiac disease to have few or no gastrointestinal symptoms. That makes spotting and connecting these seemingly unrelated and unclear celiac symptoms so important.
    NO SYMPTOMS
    Currently, most people diagnosed with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but are diagnosed on the basis of referral for elevated risk factors. 

    CELIAC DISEASE VS. GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
    Gluten intolerance is a generic term for people who have some sort of sensitivity to gluten. These people may or may not have celiac disease. Researchers generally agree that there is a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That term has largely replaced the term gluten-intolerance. What’s the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitivity? 
    CELIAC DISEASE VS. NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (NCGS)
    Gluten triggers symptoms and immune reactions in people with celiac disease. Gluten can also trigger symptoms in some people with NCGS, but the similarities largely end there.

    There are four main differences between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity:
    No Hereditary Link in NCGS
    Researchers know for certain that genetic heredity plays a major role in celiac disease. If a first-degree relative has celiac disease, then you have a statistically higher risk of carrying genetic markers DQ2 and/or DQ8, and of developing celiac disease yourself. NCGS is not known to be hereditary. Some research has shown certain genetic associations, such as some NCGS patients, but there is no proof that NCGS is hereditary. No Connection with Celiac-related Disorders
    Unlike celiac disease, NCGS is so far not associated with malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies, or a higher risk of autoimmune disorders or intestinal malignancies. No Immunological or Serological Markers
    People with celiac disease nearly always test positive for antibodies to gluten proteins. Researchers have, as yet, identified no such antobodies or serologic markers for NCGS. That means that, unlike with celiac disease, there are no telltale screening tests that can point to NCGS. Absence of Celiac Disease or Wheat Allergy
    Doctors diagnose NCGS only by excluding both celiac disease, an IgE-mediated allergy to wheat, and by the noting ongoing adverse symptoms associated with gluten consumption. WHAT ABOUT IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) AND IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)?
    IBS and IBD are usually diagnosed in part by ruling out celiac disease. Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome are sensitive to gluten. Many experience celiac disease-like symptoms in reaction to wheat. However, patients with IBS generally show no gut damage, and do not test positive for antibodies to gliadin and other proteins as do people with celiac disease. Some IBS patients also suffer from NCGS.

    To add more confusion, many cases of IBS are, in fact, celiac disease in disguise.

    That said, people with IBS generally react to more than just wheat. People with NCGS generally react to wheat and not to other things, but that’s not always the case. Doctors generally try to rule out celiac disease before making a diagnosis of IBS or NCGS. 
    Crohn’s Disease and celiac disease share many common symptoms, though causes are different.  In Crohn’s disease, the immune system can cause disruption anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, and a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease typically requires more diagnostic testing than does a celiac diagnosis.  
    Crohn’s treatment consists of changes to diet and possible surgery.  Up to 10% of Crohn's patients can have both of conditions, which suggests a genetic connection, and researchers continue to examine that connection.
    Is There a Connection Between Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Large Number of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Sensitive To Gluten Some IBD Patients also Suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Many Cases of IBS and Fibromyalgia Actually Celiac Disease in Disguise CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
    Diagnosis of celiac disease can be difficult. 

    Perhaps because celiac disease presents clinically in such a variety of ways, proper diagnosis often takes years. A positive serological test for antibodies against tissue transglutaminase is considered a very strong diagnostic indicator, and a duodenal biopsy revealing villous atrophy is still considered by many to be the diagnostic gold standard. 
    But this idea is being questioned; some think the biopsy is unnecessary in the face of clear serological tests and obvious symptoms. Also, researchers are developing accurate and reliable ways to test for celiac disease even when patients are already avoiding wheat. In the past, patients needed to be consuming wheat to get an accurate test result. 
    Celiac disease can have numerous vague, or confusing symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult.  Celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed by doctors. Read a Personal Story About Celiac Disease Diagnosis from the Founder of Celiac.com Currently, testing and biopsy still form the cornerstone of celiac diagnosis.
    TESTING
    There are several serologic (blood) tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies, but the most commonly used is called a tTG-IgA test. If blood test results suggest celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.
    Testing is fairly simple and involves screening the patients blood for antigliadin (AGA) and endomysium antibodies (EmA), and/or doing a biopsy on the areas of the intestines mentioned above, which is still the standard for a formal diagnosis. Also, it is now possible to test people for celiac disease without making them concume wheat products.

    BIOPSY
    Until recently, biopsy confirmation of a positive gluten antibody test was the gold standard for celiac diagnosis. It still is, but things are changing fairly quickly. Children can now be accurately diagnosed for celiac disease without biopsy. Diagnosis based on level of TGA-IgA 10-fold or more the ULN, a positive result from the EMA tests in a second blood sample, and the presence of at least 1 symptom could avoid risks and costs of endoscopy for more than half the children with celiac disease worldwide.

    WHY A GLUTEN-FREE DIET?
    Currently the only effective, medically approved treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet relieves symptoms, promotes gut healing, and prevents nearly all celiac-related complications. 
    A gluten-free diet means avoiding all products that contain wheat, rye and barley, or any of their derivatives. This is a difficult task as there are many hidden sources of gluten found in the ingredients of many processed foods. Still, with effort, most people with celiac disease manage to make the transition. The vast majority of celiac disease patients who follow a gluten-free diet see symptom relief and experience gut healing within two years.
    For these reasons, a gluten-free diet remains the only effective, medically proven treatment for celiac disease.
    WHAT ABOUT ENZYMES, VACCINES, ETC.?
    There is currently no enzyme or vaccine that can replace a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease.
    There are enzyme supplements currently available, such as AN-PEP, Latiglutetenase, GluteGuard, and KumaMax, which may help to mitigate accidental gluten ingestion by celiacs. KumaMax, has been shown to survive the stomach, and to break down gluten in the small intestine. Latiglutenase, formerly known as ALV003, is an enzyme therapy designed to be taken with meals. GluteGuard has been shown to significantly protect celiac patients from the serious symptoms they would normally experience after gluten ingestion. There are other enzymes, including those based on papaya enzymes.

    Additionally, there are many celiac disease drugs, enzymes, and therapies in various stages of development by pharmaceutical companies, including at least one vaccine that has received financial backing. At some point in the not too distant future there will likely be new treatments available for those who seek an alternative to a lifelong gluten-free diet. 

    For now though, there are no products on the market that can take the place of a gluten-free diet. Any enzyme or other treatment for celiac disease is intended to be used in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, not as a replacement.

    ASSOCIATED DISEASES
    The most common disorders associated with celiac disease are thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes, however, celiac disease is associated with many other conditions, including but not limited to the following autoimmune conditions:
    Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: 2.4-16.4% Multiple Sclerosis (MS): 11% Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: 4-6% Autoimmune hepatitis: 6-15% Addison disease: 6% Arthritis: 1.5-7.5% Sjögren’s syndrome: 2-15% Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: 5.7% IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s Disease): 3.6% Other celiac co-morditities include:
    Crohn’s Disease; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Chronic Pancreatitis Down Syndrome Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Lupus Multiple Sclerosis Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Psoriasis Rheumatoid Arthritis Scleroderma Turner Syndrome Ulcerative Colitis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Williams Syndrome Cancers:
    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (intestinal and extra-intestinal, T- and B-cell types) Small intestinal adenocarcinoma Esophageal carcinoma Papillary thyroid cancer Melanoma CELIAC DISEASE REFERENCES:
    Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University
    Gluten Intolerance Group
    National Institutes of Health
    U.S. National Library of Medicine
    Mayo Clinic
    University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/17/2018 - Could the holy grail of gluten-free food lie in special strains of wheat that lack “bad glutens” that trigger the celiac disease, but include the “good glutens” that make bread and other products chewy, spongey and delicious? Such products would include all of the good things about wheat, but none of the bad things that might trigger celiac disease.
    A team of researchers in Spain is creating strains of wheat that lack the “bad glutens” that trigger the autoimmune disorder celiac disease. The team, based at the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture in Cordoba, Spain, is making use of the new and highly effective CRISPR gene editing to eliminate the majority of the gliadins in wheat.
    Gliadins are the gluten proteins that trigger the majority of symptoms for people with celiac disease.
    As part of their efforts, the team has conducted a small study on 20 people with “gluten sensitivity.” That study showed that test subjects can tolerate bread made with this special wheat, says team member Francisco Barro. However, the team has yet to publish the results.
    Clearly, more comprehensive testing would be needed to determine if such a product is safely tolerated by people with celiac disease. Still, with these efforts, along with efforts to develop vaccines, enzymes, and other treatments making steady progress, we are living in exciting times for people with celiac disease.
    It is entirely conceivable that in the not-so-distant future we will see safe, viable treatments for celiac disease that do not require a strict gluten-free diet.
    Read more at Digitaltrends.com , and at Newscientist.com