No popular authors found.
Ads by Google:

Categories

No categories found.


Get Celiac.com's E-Newsletter





Ads by Google:


Follow / Share


  FOLLOW US:
Twitter Facebook Google Plus Pinterest RSS Podcast Email  Get Email Alerts
SHARE:

Popular Articles

No popular articles found.
Celiac.com Sponsors:

Are Cheerios Really "Not Safe For Celiacs?" Or is General Mills Getting a Bad Rap?

Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Autumn 2017 Issue


Image: CC--m01229

Celiac.com 09/01/2017 - A recent story by Buzzfeed does little to answer the question of whether Cheerios and other General Mills cereals are actually gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease.

There are a number of folks in the gluten-free community who complain that General Mills is making people sick by selling Cheerios that they know to be contaminated with gluten due to a faulty sorting process. Because General Mills uses a flawed sorting process, the story goes, their boxes of Cheerios are subject to gluten "hot spots," which is making some gluten-sensitive folks sick, thus the complaints.

They point to regular complaints logged by the FDA to argue that Cheerios are clearly not gluten-free, and thus not safe for people with celiac disease. Comment sections on articles covering this topic show that plenty of people claim that Cheerios makes them sick, and triggers gluten-related symptoms.

But, one useful measure of the basic scope of an issue is numbers. What kind of numbers are we talking about? How many complaints? How many boxes of Cheerios?

It's important to realize that General Mills produces huge numbers of Cheerios each week. How many exactly? Well, according to their website, General Mills ships 500,000 cases of Cheerios each week. At about 12 boxes per case, that's about 6 million boxes each week, or 24 million boxes each month.

We know that the FDA received a number of consumer complaints in 2015, when a mix-up at a Cheerios plant in California led to mass gluten contamination, and eventually to a full recall of 1.8 million boxes by General Mills.

During that three month period, after the gluten contamination but prior to the recall, when many consumers were eating Cheerios made with wheat flour, the FDA says it received 136 complaints about adverse reactions to the product. So, during the 90 days when we know there was gluten contamination in nearly 2 million boxes of Cheerios, when people were definitely having gluten reactions, the FDA got 136 complaints. During that time General Mills shipped about 72 million boxes, and later recalled nearly 2 million of those due to gluten contamination. That's a complaint rate of about one complaint per 529,411 total boxes, and about one complaint for every 5,000 people with celiac disease; if each person with celiac ate 1 box, and the complaints came only from people with celiac disease. (Obviously this is simplified assumption for discussion purposes).

Let's imagine another 2 million gluten-contaminated boxes got to consumers. Again, imagine that 1% of those buyers were celiac, so that 20,000 boxes of the 2 million went to celiacs—one box each. 146 complaints for 20,000 boxes is about 1 complaint per 140 boxes, give or take, for each person with celiac disease. That seems like a substantial complaint rate. So, how does that rate compare to the current rate, after the recall?

Since the beginning of 2016, the FDA has received 46 reports of people with celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten or wheat linking their illness to General Mills cereals, including Cheerios and Lucky Charms.

Ads by Google:

Let's forget about Lucky Charms for a minute, let's focus on Cheerios. During the 18 months from January 2016 to July 2017, General Mills has shipped something like 450 million boxes. That's about one complaint for every 10 million boxes of Cheerios, or about one complaint for every 100,000 people with celiac disease.

And those numbers don't include Lucky Charms, which account for some portion of the 46 complaints since early 2016. If General Mills is having an issue with sorting oats, then why have complaint ratios gone down so sharply?

Also, General Mills uses its optically sorted gluten-free oats for other products. The FDA is certainly taking all of this into account. When they get complaints, they look at large amounts of data to help them put things into perspective. Has the FDA seen corresponding numbers of complaints for different General Mills products made from the same oat sorting process? It doesn't seem so.

Celiac.com has covered the gluten-free Cheerios story from the beginning, and will continue to do so. We stand on the side of science, and accurate information.

Beyond the obvious gluten-contamination that led to the recall, we have been skeptical of claims that General Mills' sorting process is flawed, and that their products, including Cheerios are routinely contaminated with gluten.

If this were true, we think the numbers would be very different, and that the pattern of official complaints would reflect that reality. We also feel that General Mills would be facing down lawsuits from hungry trial lawyers looking to put a big trophy on the wall.

We have simply not seen any good evidence that supports claims that Cheerios and other General Mills products are contaminated with gluten "hotspots" that cause reactions in people with celiac disease. We have also not seen evidence that rules out adverse oat reactions as the cause of many of these claims.

If someone out there has different numbers, or better information, we are all ears. However, until we see convincing evidence to the contrary, Celiac.com regards Cheerios and other General Mills products as safe for people with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. We do offer the caveat that people should trust their own judgement and avoid any food they think makes them sick.

Stay tuned for more on this and other stories on gluten-free cereals and other products.

Read more at BuzzFeed.com and GeneralMills.com.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).












Related Articles



50 Responses:

 
Shawn McBride
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:12:18 AM PDT
One very important fact is omitted in this article: Many people with celiac disease stopped buying/eating "GF" Cheerios and oatmeal products after getting sick once. We are not idiots; we do not like being sick and endangering our long-term health; these General Mills products are simply not important enough to us to be worth the risk. If people with celiac disease stopped using the products after being sick once, then how many people are left to complain?

 
Carol Litfin
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:40:50 AM PDT
Thank you for this article. I am a celiac (diagnosed in March 1990. I eat Honey Nut Cheerios every morning and have not had any discomfort whatsoever.

 
Doris Kickham
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:51:42 AM PDT
I really appreciate Jefferson Adams' articles on issues related to celiac concerns.

 
MsGF
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 9:15:18 AM PDT
I'm in Canada and our standard for GF is more strict then the USA. To label a product GF it must be tested and contain less then 20 ppm. If it doesn't meet or exceed this standard it cannot be labelled GF. Many people with Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity cannot tolerate oats and I think this is where all the complaints are coming from. It's getting blown out of proportion. One person has a reaction and then claims the product is bad - when in reality it is that one person having an adverse reaction to oats. Great article - keep up with the facts. And I do believe Canada gets our Cheerios from the USA plant - which would mean they far exceed the USA's GF Standard of 20 ppm.

 
Paul Battisti
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 10:23:18 AM PDT
I have celiac and I won't even try Cheerios. My observation would that the reason complaints have gone down is that most people with celiac are not about taking chances with their health. There has been no solid proof that Cheerios are gluten free and what are the chances of another big mistake happening in the future?

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:11:04 PM PDT
I think you may have it backwards. There is currently no solid proof that Cheerios are not gluten-free, which is the point of the article.

 
Tilda
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 11:31:08 AM PDT
My daughter has celiac disease and has been eating a lot of Cheerios since they went GF. She has no symptoms and her annual blood check ups have shown no elevations. Are some people perhaps sensitive to Oats? We are thrilled she can eat Cheerios.

 
Victim
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 3:45:56 PM PDT
How often did she have regular Cheerios before having the disease?

 
Diana
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 11:54:44 AM PDT
Why doesn't the FDA or one these other entities claiming General Mills has misbranded the product(s) just test random batches to see if they fall below the threshold of 20 ppm to meet claims of being gluten-free?

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:13:47 PM PDT
So far, the FDA has not said that Cheerios or other GM cereals are mislabeled. Basically, we have a handful of complaints out of hundreds of millions of boxes, coupled with a few rumors and personal anecdotes that keep the story going. Otherwise, no solid evidence that they are not gluten-free as labeled.

 
Deb
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 12:28:59 PM PDT
Just playing devil's advocate here. Since many people with celiac never knew what was making them sick before diagnosis, how can we be sure, when we do feel a bit off on any given day, exactly what it was that caused us to feel off? And, since quite a few with celiac do not become symptomatic right away, some never, and some with different symptoms from any given exposure, I just can't see anything scientific about the determination of safety based on just complaints. I can eat something one day with no problem, then feel sick two days later when I eat it again. Can I be sure that one thing was the cause? No. And I would not make a complaint to a company based off that. Maybe a lot of others do the same. Bottom line, if an oat containing food is not made with certified gluten free oats on dedicated equipment within a dedicated facility, there could be a problem. We live with a certain level of risk every day. People deserve to be able to determine what level is acceptable to them based on facts. So, give them the facts about ingredients and how the food is processed and let them decide what is safe for them and what is not.

 
karen
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 6:48:25 PM PDT
I agree, totally let each person decide. Everyone reacts differently and each person has their own set of health issues at any given time. Celiac is such a hard disease to pin down with delayed symptoms.

 
Diane
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 12:29:38 PM PDT
Thinking outside the box, there are other possibilities why those with CD and NCGS may react to Cheerios. Note, for example, that Cheerios is shelved among traditional gluten cereals at the store. Once at the store, normal handling, from shelving to checkout, exposes the packages to additional external cross-contamination. It may be insignificant for many, but not all. I have personally (albeit, anecdotally) experienced this problem with packaged GF bread stuffed among the wheat bread sold at a day-old outlet store. Another consideration is that some celiacs react to certified-GF oats. Personally (again, anecdotally) I react to GF oats with celiac symptoms when I exceed a certain amount in a certain time period, yet my blood work comes back negative for gluten in my system. Another alternative explanation is that some people experience a reaction when a new food is introduced, especially a processed food. Finally, with respect to processed foods and foods with more than five ingredients. like Cheerios, there is the chance that a reaction to any one or combination of the other ingredients may occur. The caveat noted in the article is one to live by!

 
Jeff
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 12:31:46 PM PDT
This article is not scientific and the conclusion is absurd. First, the proper comparison would be between the number of complaints on Cherrios and those on another gluten-free cereal. I would imagine that there are cereals where millions of boxes have been shipped and there are no complaints of this sort. Secondly, in order to conclude that Cherrios are (even likely) gluten-free, you have to explain the complaints. Are people lying? Are they wrong? If so, why? You have to allege that every single complaint is from a person who is in fact not being contaminated with enough gluten to cause any unusual (for them) reaction, or that they are being affected, and it is only because they are so sensitive that 200 parts per million is not good enough for them.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:18:38 PM PDT
One explanation for the complaints would be an oat reaction. Another would be that they are mistaken or have some other intolerance/issue. Remember, you are talking 40 complaint in 18 months with 500 million boxes shipped. During the three month period prior to their recall due to known gluten contamination, the FDA received 150 complaints out of about 75 million boxes shipped. If Cheerios were contaminated with gluten, one presumes the complaint level would mirror the 150, rather than dropping to a tiny fraction of that volume.

 
Harold
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 2:07:02 PM PDT
There are two important confounding factors that make all your calculations rather meaningless from a scientific standpoint. First, you don't know how many sensitive individuals got sick from the Cheerios/Lucky Charms and just didn't bother to report it. Second, you don't know how many sensitive people had a reaction but couldn't pinpoint the source. The second point has an additional factor in that if the cereal the affected person ate was the cause of their reaction, but they trusted it's gluten free status, they probably mis-attributed to another food source and therefore wouldn't have reported it.

 
Pam Lewellen
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 2:58:32 PM PDT
Thank you for the article. You put numbers to the claim and clarified those numbers very well. I was worried when I started to read this since we have two big boxes of Cheerios and have been eating with no problems. Thanks again for the investigation!

 
Joyce Donahue
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 3:11:42 PM PDT
So, how does one report this to the FDA, and do people even know they should? I would expect that many people who have reacted have not reported. Personally, I ate a bowl of these at a friend's house while staying the weekend and had diarrhea for three weeks after - and I am sure I didn't eat anything else unsafe because I brought all my own food other than that, but it never occurred to me to do anything more than never eat GF Cheerios again.

 
Jeanne
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 3:12:09 PM PDT
Well, I do think it's a shame that a processed food can be called GF when it has any amount of gluten in it. As a celiac, I'm very very careful about what I eat. I eat very little processed food anyway, preferring to simply eat food that naturally has no gluten. Seems like the safest/healthiest way for me personally. So, no, I don't eat Cheerios at all.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:25:13 PM PDT
The scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that the vast majority of people with celiac disease do not react to gluten levels below 20ppm. Besides that, trying to prove something has ZERO gluten is very hard and expensive. It would be very costly. GF Cheerios are also sold in Canada, where the level is 5ppm, so GM must be very confident in their product being below 5ppm, otherwise they would not sell them there too. The Canadian government does regularly test products to assure compliance.

 
Heather
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 3:56:43 PM PDT
I didn't even know there was a place to complain besides GM and that's a waste of time. I've had issues with their cereals that contain oats to the point I just won't buy them. I'm sure many don't even realize there is somewhere else they can complain.

 
Kerri
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 4:11:24 PM PDT
My son and I never complained to General Mills, we just stopped eating Cheerios. They made both of us sick and triggered our gluten symptoms.

 
Nancy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 4:17:55 PM PDT
I cannot eat Cheerios! I've tried twice and had a gluten reaction both times immediately!!

 
TCT
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 4:58:39 PM PDT
This article makes me very angry, indeed.rnrnFirst, you are devaluing the experience of the people who reported getting glutened (the 46, 136, or 146...all of them). These are not nameless numbers. These are human beings. Even one person being glutened because of a company's negligence is completely unacceptable. If I eat gluten, I am violently sick for 3-5 days; have fatigue, thyroid crashes, and intense brain fog for weeks; and have violently elevated antibodies and attack on my organs for 6 months or more. And you're saying that hundreds of people being made this sick because a company was not diligent enough is acceptable, because it's hundreds, not thousands. That's simply irresponsible, ignorant, and uncaring. If you spend millions on an ad campaign to get celiacs and people with NCGS to buy your product, you damn well better have made sure it is 100% safe. Maybe if they took those millions and applied them to safer production techniques, that complaint number would be zero. rnrnSecond, how many of us know exactly what glutened us? Based on extensive experience, I would hazard a guess that for every person who complained, there were 10, 20, or more celiacs/NCGS who didn't report it, because they weren't sure which item they had eaten had made them sick. rnrnAnd you claim to be only interested in scientific data. But this is one of the least scientific statements I've ever seen. It is pure conjecture (and grossly incorrect conjecture if one knows anything about celiac and/or human psychology:rn"If this were true, we think the numbers would be very different, and that the pattern of official complaints would reflect that reality. We also feel that General Mills would be facing down lawsuits from hungry trial lawyers looking to put a big trophy on the wall." Pure conjecture and fantasy. You think. You feel. Zero science. So please drop the pretense of only being interested in scientific fact. And don't pretend that you, or anyone who sanctioned this article, cares about the health and well-being of the celiac/NCGS community. rnrn

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:23:08 PM PDT
The lack of lawsuits and low extremely low FDA complaint levels, and lack of finding boxes of Cheerios contaminated with gluten all point to a product that is likely safe for celiacs. If they were contaminated as some people claim, it would not take long to find the evidence. Certainly large class action law firms would be all over GM if this were the case.

 
Sarah
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 5:40:34 PM PDT
Please contact Tricia Thompson at GlutenfreeWatchdog.com. She has been doing the EXTENSIVE work in discussion with GM and has VERY valid and reliable information about all of this. As a "supporter" for those with celiac disease, you need to take more caution in making safety recommendations. I know 2 people in my own family who get sick when they eat Cheerios and they just have not submitted claims, despite my pleading. Numbers that you "see" don't always reflect what tests measure, which is what she is doing. It would be optimal that you retract your statement of "safety" on this matter until you speak with her directly.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:32:33 PM PDT
I'm still waiting for Ms. Thompson to publicly announce that Cheerios are unsafe and contaminated. She has not, and likely will not. Years ago she promised to release proof of her lab results but never did. Why not? Either because she has none, or General Mills might sue her for defamation. Regarding people you know who "got sick" on Cheerios. What about all the celiacs who eat Cheerios with impunity? Are they special? Please read the comments on this thread. So far there is simply no evidence that Cheerios are unsafe for people with celiac disease, but if that changes, we will be happy to let the world know.

 
Joanna Davis
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 6:42:02 PM PDT
Say what you want, I know Cheerios are bad for celiacs. Working for General Mills these days? This cereal is made with cross contaminated oats, period! They have been tested and they contain more than 20 ppm. As a celiac I react to anything greater than 5 ppm, as do many other celiacs.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
05 Sep 2017 11:54:26 AM PDT
Please post the results of any tests you know of that are above 20ppm, otherwise you are simply making claims without any evidence.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:26:25 PM PDT
Please send the link and the scientific info showing that Cheerios and other gluten-free GM products are actually contaminated with gluten. We'll be happy to read it and write an article about it.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:37:40 PM PDT
Please post the test results you speak of. Also, why no action from the FDA? Why no lawsuits from money-hungry trial attorneys, especially lawyers with celiac disease and a bone to pick with GM because Cheerios made them sick? So far there are none, and so far there are also no test results that "prove" Cheerios are contaminated with gluten. I am curious, how do you know you react at 5ppm? Have you been tested with a gluten challenge at 5ppm?

 
Jack Miller
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 7:37:23 PM PDT
Buzz Feed is just another political left wing lying organization that likes to create trouble.rnDon't trust them. If at this moment Cheerios were to contain gluten then I would be going into anaphylactic shock as this happens to me from ingesting gluten.rnI have been eating Cheerios for quite a while and experience no shock reactions.rnBuzz Feed is full of bull cookies with raisins and gluten!

 
Tar wood
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:24:07 PM PDT
There are less complaints because celiac people aren't buying it anymore. Your numbers don't include demographics on the number of celiacs that did buy and got sick vs those who did not pre and post the recall.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:34:32 PM PDT
Just checking, but have you read the comments here? What about the people with celiac disease who eat Cheerios regularly? They exist. Multitudes more of them than claim to have problems. I'm not quit sure where your claim is coming from. How do you know how many people with celiac disease eat Cheerios?

 
Beth
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:40:07 PM PDT
I am one with celiac disease who cannot tolerate even gluten free oats. They cause the same reaction in me as gluten. I avoid oats the same way I avoid gluten. Since giving up eating oats a few years ago, I rarely experience symptoms that I associate with eating gluten. I avoid gluten free Cheerios because of the oats, not because I don't think they are gluten free. I avoid eating ANY product with oats. I still have to check ingredient labels on all products that are marked gluten free to make sure they do not contain oats. If there are complaints about General Mills products causing adverse symptoms, perhaps the individual is reacting to the oats themselves, not to any gluten contamination of the oats. I have been enjoying General Mills gluten free Chex cereals for years and they have never made me sick.

 
llh
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:50:49 PM PDT
My husband has had problems with Cheerios also. He is celiac. We have not bothered to report it as we are too busy. It seems every so many boxes is bad or perhaps the top 3/4 of the box is ok but not the bottom. I was wondering if anyone has done a study on how gluten reacts such as falling to the bottom of a box during transit. Perhaps your answer is the fact most people eating Cheerios aren't celiac. Most people I know just stay away if there is a problem. Very few would report it.

 
Outlier Babe
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Sep 2017 8:51:59 PM PDT
Cheerios sent me racing to the bathroom. I thought at first it was gluten, but no: It was my corn allergy. Cornstarch is the second ingredient. I supposedly had a corn allergy my entire life, per allergy scratch tests, but it was asymptomatic until 2012 when my gut went haywire and I could no longer digest gluten (or sorghum, teff, quinoa, etc.rnrnIs it possible that some celiacs who think they are reacting to gluten in Cheerios instead have developed an undiagnosed corn allergy?

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:39:20 PM PDT
Interesting. I've suspected that other reactions might be to blame. Obviously oats, but corn is an interesting one. Certainly people can have adverse reactions to corn, Hmmm. Thank you!

 
Cristy Baeza
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 2:50:19 AM PDT
Cheerios is made of oats, which is very bad for celiac disease. I got very sick with cheerios.

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
11 Sep 2017 11:16:30 AM PDT
Oats are only bad for those who cannot tolerate them. That's about 8-10% of people with celiac disease. Otherwise, oats are fine for most folks, even those with celiac disease.

 
Lisa Pierce
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 6:58:18 AM PDT
I have celiac disease and have been eating Cheerios for the past year with no problems at all. rnI especially love the fact that their prices are so reasonable. I can't afford most gluten free foods. So I give General Mills a 10 for caring and doing it right.

 
Victim
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 9:02:21 AM PDT
The more important question is, are Cheerios leading to celiac?

 
Jeff Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
07 Sep 2017 3:28:26 PM PDT
Celiac disease is not caused by eating gluten-free foods. There's no evidence that Cheerios are not gluten-free as labeled.

 
Sandra
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 9:18:16 AM PDT
I have been eating cheerios for over a year now and have had no problems. I would also like to say I am glad more companies are making products that are gluten free.

 
Victim
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
05 Sep 2017 4:27:44 PM PDT
How long did you eat any cheerios before having celiac (if you have it)?

 
HRaven
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
06 Sep 2017 11:21:19 AM PDT
I used to eat Cheerios all the time pre-celiac, and have now been diagnosed celiac for 11 years. I'm highly symptomatic. I eat certified GF oatmeal all the time and have no oat sensitivity (also no corn sensitivity). I've reacted to Cheerios, regular and honey nut, most of the time - typical celiac reaction, within about an hour from eating the cereal - but once in a while I'm fine. Also similar with Lucky Charms, maybe fine half the time, react half the time. I assume that I'm reacting to that small portion of gluten that is allowed to be in the cereal, or maybe there are "hot spots" of gluten....because of all this uncertainty though, I avoid the cereals unless I'm REALLY craving them.rnrnI also never complained to GM. I think those complaint numbers are low because most of us just don't want to bother officially complaining each time we react. If they did a huge international survey about their GF cereals and have a question asking whether the survey participant is celiac, NCGS, and officially diagnosed (blood test/endoscopy) then they would get VERY different results (I understand those surveys have inherent errors based on qualitative reporting, but it's better than guessing complaint numbers per celiac per shipment of cereal).rnrnAs others pointed out too, every celiac is different, everyone's symptoms flair up differently, so it's VERY tricky figuring out what caused a flair-up and to what extent. It's even more dangerous for those who get no symptoms, as the damage to the immune system continues with them unaware. In the end, I think it comes down to personal sensitivity, knowing our own bodies, and deciding on what risks we're willing to take. Obviously, I'd love for GM to use certified GF oats and facility and not just their sorting process, I would then buy Cheerios all the time...but until that happens, I have to weigh the risks carefully and will generally avoid their cereals.

 
Victim
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
06 Sep 2017 8:26:26 PM PDT
Thanks for writing HRaven. Your diet history is consistent with my belief that regular Cheerios actually leads to celiac disease. I just meet someone else earlier this year whose grown daughter has celiac. She had given her child Cheerios all the time as a child.

 
Victim
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
07 Sep 2017 10:09:38 PM PDT
Thanks Raven for pointing out frequent Cheerio consumption before developing the disease!

 
Diana
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
09 Sep 2017 7:09:28 PM PDT
I was diagnosed with celiac disease 47 years ago. My question to you is how many of us like me never reported it? I don't think you have accurate numbers. I had a horrible reaction and just never ate them again but I didn't ever report it anywhere.

 
Sandra
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
18 Sep 2017 12:52:32 PM PDT
I've had Celiac for 7 years now. For awhile, every time my kids would pore pre-GF Cheerios into their bowls or flatten a Cheerios box that caused Cheerios dust particles to poof out of the box I would get very sick. I finally figured it out and put a tall trifold barrier around my breakfast area. Talk about feeling isolated! But my kids loved Cheerios (and one won't eat anything else). When Cheerios went GF I was thrilled. I never got one of the contaminated boxes, thankfully, but I've been eating them just about every morning since they went GF without any problems. I agree that people should listen to their bodies in regards to Cheerios, but I just wanted to share that I'm very thankful to be able to eat what everyone else is eating without worry and for a good price and without barricading myself from my family.




Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:




In Celiac.com's Forum Now:


Interesting article. I do wonder how she was 'misdiagnosed' though and how she came to the conclusion she wasn't celiac.

Try dropping the oats for while and see if that helps. Some of us, myself included, react to even the ones that are certified as gluten free.

Hey guys, I appreciate the input, you are all very sweet and kind. I do not eat out at all. Only eat food I cook. No alcohol. Only certified gluten-free oats, grains, rice, etc. I have 3 roommates in a little house. I have my own gluten-free section to cook and prepare foo...

What was your gluten free diet like? I wonder if, when you were gluten-free, you went more whole food, less processed food? Or did you continue to eat processed food that was just gluten free? One reason I ask is that I have cut way back on grains and processed foods like gluten-free bread, but o...

Equal parts Hershey Coco Powder and a sweetener with a pinch of salt. Super easy to make your own. I like adding a bit to my coffee with almond milk, and lakanto sugar free maple, or a bit of monk fruit or stevia. PS you might want to drop dairy milk. The enzymes to break it down come from th...