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    Strong Compliance with Gluten-Free Standards Mean Consumers Can Buy With Confidence


    Jefferson Adams


    • FDA shows overwhelming compliance with gluten-free labeling rules.


    Celiac.com 11/01/2017 - Recent product testing by the FDA shows overwhelming compliance with FDA's requirement that foods labeled "gluten-free" have less than 20 parts per million detectable gluten.


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    According to the FDA, more than 99.5 percent of "gluten-free" food products met the agency's gluten-free standard, according to Carol D'Lima, a food technologist in FDA's Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling.

    The FDA collected and analyzed 702 samples from more than 250 products labeled "gluten free." So far, D'Lima noted, only one product labeled as gluten-free tested positive for gluten levels above 20 ppm.

    The FDA does not name the products that were tested, but does note that the failed product was "recalled and subsequent sampling by the FDA did not find levels of gluten that violated the regulation."

    Also, the FDA testing very likely includes products by major manufacturers. That's likely good news for manufacturers like General Mills, which made news recently when they announced that they will voluntarily remove the "Gluten-Free" label from their Cheerios products in Canada.

    The company says that it did not make the move due to any concerns about gluten levels, but due to a technicality over oat testing protocols under which oat products can be labeled "Gluten-Free."

    A statement from the company's website reads in part: "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."

    Absent any product recalls in the face of the FDA product testing, it's safe to assume that the consumers can take General Mills and other companies at their word, and trust that products labeled gluten-free meet FDA gluten-free standards, and are safe for people with celiac disease.

    Such high compliance levels by food manufacturers mean that the FDA may now put more of their resources into other enforcement measure, including ensuring that the supply chain remains free from cross-contamination.

    Even in the face of such encouraging test results, look for the FDA to remain diligent in validating "Gluten-Free" and other labeling claims. The FDA maintains "an ongoing compliance program," says D'Lima. Under that program, field staff in FDA district offices conduct inspections that include products labeled as gluten-free.

    If any products are found to be out of compliance for gluten standards, the FDA notifies the company to make appropriate corrections, and works with the company to recall any mislabeled products on the market.

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    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

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    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

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