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Food Rant....

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I don't get this....I just today bought a bag of wheat/gluten free cookies. The "glutin Free" stuff was plastered all over the package in huge letters. Then you read the fine print on the side and it states "made in a facility that processes wheat." WHY...WHY do they do this? If they're going to make glutin free products, don't they understand cross-contamination?

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Most mainstream brands that have gluten free products and alot of specialty items even have them run on the same lines but clean them thoroughly in between.

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I don't think its fair either. To be gluten free means zero gluten. That may be the case (that the item is gluten-free), but seems that there is always that risk in 'shared' facilities - its definitely a personal decision, that is to avoid that risk or not. Sorry about your cookies.

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They cannot guarantee zero gluten because you can't test down to the atom. These words have legal significance, and the legal significance is convoluted and crazy at times. Given the cost of production equipement, items do not get their own production lines - and resources are pooled whenever possible. There are standards for line cleaning which are designed to deal with contamination sources, so I do think they're trying to do their best. The product itself doesn't have gluten containing ingredients, but they're being upfront with you by telling you that they can't preclude cross-contamination. If you don't want to risk cross-contamination, you'll have to go without the products until there is enough of a market to justify the price of dedicated lines for manufacturers.

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Unfortunately, it is not financially possible to have "dedicated lines" for all of these companies...

The disclaimer on the package is there for legal reasons. I am actually happy that they do that -- it lets you know there is a possibility of cross-contamination.

Would you rather them say on the front of the package, "This item has no gluten containing ingredients, but it is used in the same plant as other gluten containing items, hence we cannot technically guarantee there is no gluten in the item" ?

I look at it as a good thing, not a bad thing...

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I don't get this....I just today bought a bag of wheat/gluten free cookies. The "glutin Free" stuff was plastered all over the package in huge letters. Then you read the fine print on the side and it states "made in a facility that processes wheat." WHY...WHY do they do this? If they're going to make glutin free products, don't they understand cross-contamination?
I know... I am also annoyed by this, since I have been contaminated by at least one or two companies that have gluten free on the package. My worst gluten contamination ever was from Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed, which had gluten free on the label. I learned later on their website that they continously detect gluten in all their gluten free products. Go Figure <_<

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I've given up on products that have the disclaimer. Now, whenever I see it, I translate it to say "May contain gluten and probably will from time to time".

My last gluten accident was from bionaturae pasta. Their disclaimer says:

This product is manufactured in a facility that produces other products which contain wheat. Therefore we test for the presence of gluten during each production cycle.

One thing that helped me decide to avoid all products with similar disclaimers was the realization that these disclaimers all share one glaring omission. That omission is:

Sure, they test but what do they do when they get a positive test result?

Do they throw out hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars of ingredients and start again?

Do they have an elf sitting at the end of the production line with a magic marker crossing out "Gluten-free" on the package label?

Or, do they say, Oops! I guess we need to be more careful next time.

Based solely on the disclaimer, there is no way to know.

That's why I've started practicing a better-safe-than-sorry philosophy.

Chuck

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For now I don't eat anything that says its processed in a facility with wheat. I had the same problem as Carrie with Bob's Red Mill Flaxmeal and also buckwheat flour....both labeled gluten-free. Because of cross-contamination I dont think I've ever been totally gluten-free yet. I've been glutened numerous times the past few months and now I'm going to stick to whole foods until I get all this gluten out of my system and actually start healing. Everything has been very confusing to me...especially since I *thought* I was 100% gluten-free. For example I felt sick everytime I ate Blue Diamond gluten-free crackers. I stared at the ingredients over and over and decided it must be the dairy. I gave up dairy but nothing changed. Now I notice the box states that its processed in a facility with wheat. I wasnt looking for this info. before because I thought gluten-free meant no possibility of cc.....I am thankful that this information is there though. I wish every product had this info. on it. It would make life easier for me now that I know to look for it.

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They cannot guarantee zero gluten because you can't test down to the atom. These words have legal significance, and the legal significance is convoluted and crazy at times.

I don't know if you were replying to me, but I never implied testing to the atom, that's rediculous - I was talking about cross contamination, in which case, b/c of the risk, it is not going to be gluten-free all the time. I have experienced similar things as all these people below and have been unintentionally glutened for months. I solved this problem by only eating in whole foods prepared at home and by eating limited packaged foods made in gluten-free facility.

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In regard to testing, the following link might be an interesting read, even to those who are not beer drinkers.

http://www.bardsbeer.com/glutenbeer.asp

The interesting part mentions that wheat, rye and barley have their own particular type of gluten: gliadin (wheat), hordein (barley) and secalin (rye). The web page asserts that current gluten testing tests for gliadin only and not for the other glutens that cause problems for celiacs. I cannot verify this but, if that is correct, then it raises a disturbing issue when manufacturers say they have tested for gluten. They could be doing everything possible to ensure their products are indeed gluten-free and nevetheless could still miss contamination from barley and rye.

Chuck

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The interesting part mentions that wheat, rye and barley have their own particular type of gluten: gliadin (wheat), hordein (barley) and secalin (rye). The web page asserts that current gluten testing tests for gliadin only and not for the other glutens that cause problems for celiacs. I cannot verify this but, if that is correct, then it raises a disturbing issue when manufacturers say they have tested for gluten. They could be doing everything possible to ensure their products are indeed gluten-free and nevetheless could still miss contamination from barley and rye.
wow, I never thought about that before. If that is true, it could explain a few things :unsure:

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Whole Foods products which are labeled gluten free are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility a few miles from their reg. bakery. A few years ago their head baker got dx'd with celiac disease, and hence his quest for gluten-free bakery items began. They did start in the reg. bakery in the beginning, baking only one day per week, cleaning the lines before and after the gluten-free day. In two years the demand for the gluten-free products were so great that they were able to move to the current facility. So maybe there's some hope that other manufacturers will follow.

:rolleyes:

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There are a few products I trust that are not made on dedicated lines...but most I try and stay away from. Some may be a justified warning...others are probably okay, and just use the CYA for legal purposes. Since its hard to tell, its up to you to decide your protocol.

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