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

Paul Seelig Arrest Photo 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.

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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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6 Responses:

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said this on
12 Apr 2011 3:01:41 PM PST
And he deserves all 11 years. Now that chef needs to be prosecuted, too.

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said this on
18 Apr 2011 9:52:47 AM PST
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.

Asa Javier BaRa
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said this on
18 Apr 2011 1:24:44 PM PST
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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said this on
18 Apr 2011 7:12:22 PM PST
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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said this on
01 May 2011 6:25:54 PM PST
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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said this on
22 May 2017 10:14:47 PM PST
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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I am more stressed about what sales will be out on cyber Monday and black Friday then the actual thanksgiving holidays lol. Cooking is just cooking, I do it daily, just doing more and some special dishes. NOW once a year sales on products I use daily like supplements, spices, foods, flours, etc..... Starbuck's also had wrap sandwiches in London and this was the company they used. Warburton's bread and wraps put everything in the US to shame. The wraps are moist, delicious and do not SPLIT! I could actually consider a move to ...

Why wouldn't it be gluten-free? whiskey is gluten-free. Wine is gluten-free.

Have you been tested for a stomach ulcer? That's what the pain sounds like to me. You can also get pain in your stomach from too much gas. Another possibility is GERD.

Well, you can always trial the gluten-free diet, but do it for at least six months. Act exactly as if you had celiac disease. Worry about cross contamination and learn to read labels. My own hubby did this per the very poor advice from two medical doctors 16 years ago (and we had good in...