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cyclinglady

Cherrios and the Celiac Disease Foundation

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This is interesting.  I sent an email asking the Celiac Disease Foundation about gluten-free Cherrios which they endorse/support, but the Canadian Celiac Disease Organization and the Gluten Free Watchdog do not?   What do you all think?  

 

Their response to me:

 

Aside from the initial contamination in Cheerios when they were first put on the market, Cheerios has had no other issues with the gluten-free status of their cereals. Most people with celiac disease can tolerate gluten-free oats, however, about 20% of the population with celiac disease cannot tolerate oats in any form, even if they are gluten-free. It's that population that should avoid Cheerios. Our Medical Advisory Board has no evidence that General Mills gluten-free cereals are not safe for celiac consumption. General Mills is a proud sponsor of Celiac Disease Foundation, and they understand the importance of safe gluten-free food to our community. In fact, we enjoy Cheerios at the National Office ourselves where half of us have celiac disease. Cheerios only need to be avoided by those with celiac disease who also cannot tolerate oats. 

 

Please let me know if you have additional questions.  

 

Sincerely, 
Celiac Disease Foundation 
Edited by cyclinglady
Typos

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So far nobody can produce a single box that tests over 20 ppm. Until that happens I don't see an issue with celiacs eating them. The biggest issue, from my perspective, is that there is a general anti-big corporate attitude that seems to make some people not trust them. In reality, the fact that they are bigger, at least to me, means that whey they say "gluten-free" you can believe it over a smaller company (my perspective is based on 7 years as a corporate paralegal and the understanding of what it would mean in terms of total liability if General Mills got this wrong).

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So they've paid engineers and scientists and and spent millions of dollars to develop and patent their technology, and you are claiming that they don't adequately test their products to verify that they are gluten-free? What about their testing isn't "scientifically sound," and why is their testing less adequate than any other company who is selling or marketing "gluten-free oats?"

If your claim is correct, then any major law firm would simply need to buy up a few hundred boxes of Cheerios, have them tested, then sue them in a class action to make millions of dollars. If their testing isn't adequate, then I doubt any other company selling oats or products that use oats is adequate.

You are making a claim here, and it is up to you to provide evidence to support it.

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RMJ: So the claim is made that how they sample and test dilutes the sample taken, and therefore their cereals may not actually be gluten-free.

Since you are a scientist what you are doing here is called an Argument from Ignorance (no insult intended).  It is not up to Cheerios to test every single box is it? I suppose if they did that then you might claim that they didn't test each Cheerio in each box, right? 

General Mills must, like any company who does this, come up with some method to randomly test their batches, and I doubt their methods are any different than any other company doing this--and they might actually be much better because as a publicly traded company they have a lot more liability here. 

I believe their gluten-free line of cereals have been around for around a year now, yet I've not see any news of even a single box testing over 20 ppm (and this is in an era where people have home test kits at their fingertips). Can you at least point me to some evidence of them failing to make safe gluten-free cereals?

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I am not saying they should do more tests.  They could easily improve their testing using the same number of samples they test now.  They test X boxes and end up with X samples.  But they mix everything together (from the X boxes) before taking the samples from that mixture.  They should instead test the individual samples from the X boxes.

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I don't eat cold cereal at all because I just don't like cold cereals but my husband eats them because I won't allow gluten in the house.  I have one of those NIMA food testers on order and when I get the thing, I am going to test those damn Cheerios.  NIMA tests to 20ppm's so I'll let you all know what happens!  As you can see, I am looking for things to test.....;)

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23 hours ago, icelandgirl said:

How fun to be getting the tester!!  Please, please report back!

Hi icelandgirl!  This tester was developed by MIT graduates and I work for MIT so I could not resist.  Some of the developers have food allergy issues themselves so this is why they focused on doing this.  They didn't actually say Celiac but I am guessing it is.  I wrote to them and thanked them for doing this and if it proves to be a success, think how that could change travel for us?  This is the response I got back from them:

 

Quote

Hi Gemini,

Thank you so much for reaching out to share your support!
Stories like yours are exactly why we wanted to create Nima, and we can’t wait to hear more stories about how Nima has helped make your life easier in the future.
I’ll pass your thanks along to the rest of the team, and if there’s anything else I can do to help, please let me know!

Thanks again!

Colin F | Nima Support
support@nimasensor.com
Nima FAQ

Such smart, young people.......:D



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23 hours ago, Gemini said:

Hi icelandgirl!  This tester was developed by MIT graduates and I work for MIT so I could not resist.  Some of the developers have food allergy issues themselves so this is why they focused on doing this.  They didn't actually say Celiac but I am guessing it is.  I wrote to them and thanked them for doing this and if it proves to be a success, think how that could change travel for us?  This is the response I got back from them:

 

Such smart, young people.......:D


 

I think that's so cool!  Please do let us know how it goes!

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I had previously reported problems with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oats and museli.  I then tried Purely Elizabeth certified gluten free oats, which also caused reactions for me.  So lucky me, I am special, I must be in the small percent that cannot tolerate oats.

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