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Complaints to FDA Led to Cheerios Gluten-free Lawsuit

Celiac.com 02/26/2016 - Consumer complaints to the FDA fueled a class action lawsuit claiming that cereal maker General Mills mislabeled gluten contaminated Cheerios as "gluten-free."

Photo: CC--Mike MozartThe recent suit was brought by a Kentucky woman, who alleges that she purchased two boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios labeled as gluten-free, but which actually contained gluten levels more than two times higher than allowed under FDA standards.

The consumer complaints led to FDA testing on gluten-free Cheerios. The FDA tested 36 samples of gluten-free Cheerios taken from different manufacturing facilities and lots. The tests found that some "Gluten Free" Cheerios samples contained as much as 43 ppm gluten. Current FDA rules forbid the use of the statement "gluten-free" on any food product with gluten levels above 20 parts per million.

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General Mills issued a recall on Oct. 5., and the suit was filed in late 2015 in a California federal court, and charges violations of California and Kentucky consumer protection laws.

The suit alleges that supposedly gluten-free oats were cross contaminated with ordinary wheat at one of General Mills' processing facilities.

Stay tuned for more news on this and other developments on gluten-free labeling and celiac disability claims.

Read more at Legalnewsline.com.

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14 Responses:

 
Susanne
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
29 Feb 2016 7:10:56 AM PDT
What does that mean: "gluten-free wheat was cross contaminated with ordinary wheat"?

 
Yvonne
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said this on
01 Mar 2016 4:14:47 AM PDT
The article says 'gluten free oats were cross-contaminated with ordinary wheat'.

 
JM Paris
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said this on
01 Mar 2016 7:02:01 AM PDT
It means that the gluten-free oats were processed in a facility where wheat is processed.

 
Cindy
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said this on
29 Feb 2016 8:11:45 AM PDT
THAT was the reason I've gotten so very sick after eating them! You can't trust them!!

 
Bob Zander
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said this on
29 Feb 2016 9:58:03 AM PDT
Hasn't this since been rectified? If so, mention of the fact that Cheerios are okay now would be a wise addition to this article.

 
CEEG
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said this on
01 Mar 2016 7:15:56 AM PDT
I had the same question as Bob Zander: are the boxes of "GF Cheerios" now on the shelves GF? Those distributed last fall by General Mills were recalled...so does that mean that the product on grocery shelves today ARE safe to eat?

 
Carol
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said this on
29 Feb 2016 6:44:10 PM PDT
I received a recall notice before I could even eat them from Sam's Club. I remember that General Mills had quite a bit of information on their web site at the time. I agree, it should be noted that this has been rectified and it was an error that they quickly corrected.

 
Marc
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said this on
29 Feb 2016 10:00:55 PM PDT
@Bob Some of us don't believe that General Mills method of sorting grains is actually reliable and capable of producing a consistently gluten-free product.

 
Sandy
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said this on
29 Feb 2016 11:43:35 PM PDT
I agree more follow up should be done regarding the recall and subsequent activities undertaken by General Mills. Working in the regulated industry, I know that whenever a recall is initiated, substantial "root cause" analysis is done to apply corrective actions to assure this doesn't happen again.

 
Tom
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said this on
01 Mar 2016 3:54:42 AM PDT
It stated that gluten free oats were contaminated with wheat.

 
Cindy Maxwell
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said this on
03 Mar 2016 10:39:53 AM PDT
Stating that the oats were contaminated with real wheat is misleading because their process to render a gluten free product is by removing the gluten, NOT by preventing contamination. The fact of the matter is that their process of removing gluten is either not effective or that they did not do consistent testing to ensure the gluten free status. I personally will not consume their product until the celiac community has tried and tested it.

 
greg
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said this on
14 Mar 2016 11:51:04 AM PDT
As of now 3-14-2016 there must still be gluten in them. I have had celiac from birth and been getting real sick when I eat them.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
14 Mar 2016 2:03:08 PM PDT
It sounds like you have oat intolerance, because they are gluten-free.

 
Pippy
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said this on
23 Aug 2016 7:54:00 AM PDT
And now they wish to patent GF oats, great! NOT! I can´t eat oats anyway, but I will never trust this General Mills. They are too big for their britches; it is not about safety, it is all about their bottom dollar.




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Wish I could give you a hug. Unfortunately I know how that feels with Neurologists, Internists, Endocrinologists, Rheumatologists, GIs..... I got so tired of crying my drive home after refusing yet another script for Prozac. I do hope your GI can give you some answers even if it is just to rule out other possible issues. Keep on the gluten and we are here for you.

It is too bad that so often a full panel isn't done. Glad your appointment got moved up and hopefully you will get a clearer answer from the GI. Do keep eating gluten until the celiac testing is done. Once the testing is done do give the diet a good strict try. Hang in there.

That makes sense...I cried with relief when I got my diagnosis just because there was finally an answer. Please know that you are not weak or crazy. Keep pushing for testing. It could still be celiac, it could be Crohns. Push your Dr's to figure this out. Best wishes.

Thank you all very much. I actually cried when I got the answer. I wanted an explanation that I could "fix." Now I'm back to thinking I'm just weak and possibly crazy. I know I'm not crazy, but you know.

From what I have read online there is about a 1-3% chance of getting a false positive for celiac disease from a blood test. Was it a blood test that you got done? It may be worth your while to get a biopsy or more testing just to confirm it. I know being gluten free is a pain but it is better than getting cancer or other auto immune disorders.