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  • Dyani Barber

    Paul Seelig Found Guilty of Selling Fake Gluten-Free Bread Gets 11 Years

    Dyani Barber
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Paul Seelig Arrest Photo
    Caption: Paul Seelig Arrest Photo

    Celiac.com 04/12/2011 - Paul Seelig was found guilty today of 23 counts of obtaining property by false pretense after a two-week trial in Durham, NC. The jury found that he illegally represented baked goods as gluten-free, but they actually contained gluten. Mr. Seelig received an 11 year prison sentence for his crimes, which included the sickening of more than two dozen customers, one of whom had a premature delivery that was possibly caused by her involuntary gluten consumption.

    Seelig's company, Great Specialty Products, purchased regular gluten-containing items from companies in New Jersey such as Costco, and then repackaged them in his home kitchen and sold them as "gluten-free" at the NC State Fair, various street fairs and via home delivery. Seelig claimed that his baked items were homemade in his company's 150,000-square-foot commercial kitchen, and that his company raised its own grains on its 400-acre farm. High gluten levels were detected by both customers and investigators in Seelig's supposedly gluten-free bread, even though he claimed that he tested his bread weekly for gluten and found none. Mr. Seelig could not produce any of his test results at trial.



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    I totally agree with Hallie. It's difficult enough to stay gluten free, without being deliberately sabotaged by some low life, that has no regards for his fellow man.

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    Guest Asa Javier BaRa

    Posted

    Even Betty Crocker has gluten-free mixes now, which is to say the issue is really mainstream and this case should have been aired on mainstream TV. Given the life threatening event I experienced due to my unknown sensitivity and reaction to gluten I say put that idiot away for at least 50 years!

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    Now, if some restaurant's that claim to have gluten free and don't follow rules for cross-contamination should also be held accountable. We are so glad that this one person will have a long to think about he did!

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    Well Tasty Bite Brand foods is doing the same thing! Their Barley Medley is marked gluten free on the package! Fortunately, I knew better than to purchase that one but now I'm wondering if they even know what gluten is and I've been using their other foods for years.

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    11 years is an insane punishment for committing food fraud - even if it harmed the consumers. I would say that 3-4 years were a more appropriate sentence, and confiscation of his profit, and barring him from being in the food business again. Anyway, I am European, so obviously American penal law is another planet. The positive point is that authorities and the judge took our health condition serious, unlike ever so many family members who threaten to do the same to us as Paul Seeling has done ...

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    11 years is an insane punishment for committing food fraud - even if it harmed the consumers. I would say that 3-4 years were a more appropriate sentence, and confiscation of his profit, and barring him from being in the food business again. Anyway, I am European, so obviously American penal law is another planet. The positive point is that authorities and the judge took our health condition serious, unlike ever so many family members who threaten to do the same to us as Paul Seeling has done ...

    I think 11 years is perfect for the weasel. Unfortunately he will likely do less time due to overcrowding and good behavior.

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    Guest AnonymousCeliacFromNC

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    He glutened 23 people, he's serving just under 6 months for each count. He's lucky he didn't get more than that for sabotaging the health of so many.  Think about it: When we get glutened, it takes AT LEAST 6 months for our bodies to fully recover. Yes, we feel better in just a matter of days to weeks. But the internal damage has been done and will remain as such for 6+ months. 

    I think his sentence is fair. Plus, as mentioned above, he's NOT going to serve the whole thing! We're lucky if he serves 2 whole years! 

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  • About Me

    After many years of unexplained medical issues, I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002.  The first couple of years were a rough road traveled, but I am feeling better than I ever have.  It is important that I share what I have learned over the years with others and to do my part to help raise awareness of celiac disease.


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