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gffamily

Rice Dream New Label "gluten Free"

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Hi. This is my first time on the forum, although I have been coming here often since my daughter was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity last year.

What prompted me to post was a recent experience with Rice Dream rice milk. I have stayed away from it because of the indication on the label that it contains trace amounts of gluten. Last week I was at the store and they were out of the brand I usually buy. I noticed the new packaging for the Rice Dream (it says "organic" now), and I thought maybe they had a new formula so I thought I'd read the package. The note about containing trace amounts of gluten was gone, and now the box says "Gluten Free" on the back! I was happy to have another option, and it was on sale so I bought some. I have been giving it to my daughter for the past few days, and she got her old symptoms back! I called the company and spoke to someone in customer relations who told me that in fact they HAVE NOT changed their formula, they just have determined through their testing that they can label it gluten free now. I guess having 20ppm of gluten technically meets the standard for the label, but it just feels like I can't trust the labels now.

I am very frustrated about this, and just wanted to pass on my experience to try to save someone else from getting sick.

Pam

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Hi. This is my first time on the forum, although I have been coming here often since my daughter was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity last year.

What prompted me to post was a recent experience with Rice Dream rice milk. I have stayed away from it because of the indication on the label that it contains trace amounts of gluten. Last week I was at the store and they were out of the brand I usually buy. I noticed the new packaging for the Rice Dream (it says "organic" now), and I thought maybe they had a new formula so I thought I'd read the package. The note about containing trace amounts of gluten was gone, and now the box says "Gluten Free" on the back! I was happy to have another option, and it was on sale so I bought some. I have been giving it to my daughter for the past few days, and she got her old symptoms back! I called the company and spoke to someone in customer relations who told me that in fact they HAVE NOT changed their formula, they just have determined through their testing that they can label it gluten free now. I guess having 20ppm of gluten technically meets the standard for the label, but it just feels like I can't trust the labels now.

I am very frustrated about this, and just wanted to pass on my experience to try to save someone else from getting sick.

Pam

I never used Rice Dream milk, because I saw in very small print on the label that they used barley malt in processing that product. Barley is still gluten. During a 2005 gluten-free food fair I noticed some volunteers pouring Rice Dream milk on gluten free cereal samples for kids. I pointed out the info about barley on the label and told them that product wasn't safe. Apparently people read 'dairy free' and 'wheat' free, but don't consider the other gluten containing grains like rye, barley and most oats.

Does the new label still contain that information about barley? Is their facility free of all gluten containing grains (wheat, barley, rye and most oats)?

BURDEE

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I had thought they were going to change their formula. That's not good!

Technically if it's under 20ppm it can be listed as gluten free. Many things in the gluten free world are trial and error unless you eat all non processed foods.

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That's true Andrea. I guess that's why i'm so frustrated. i went to a family get together recently, thinking that life would be easier because several members of my extended family now are on gluten-free diets. Unfortunately, we are not all an the same page about what gluten-free means, (some are gluten lite, some don't "buy into" cross-contamination). I just wish the whole subject were a little less murky.

Pam

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I asked the company about the gluten free label recently. Below is the response they sent me. We've been drinking it....rats! I don't think that we (dd or myself) are that sensitive, so maybe we wouldn't notice. I think I'll have to look at another brand after reading your post, though.

Rho

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our Rice Dream Beverage. We strive to maintain the highest quality products and appreciate your patronage.

Analytical testing methods and detection limits have improved over the years. Recent testing shows that the Rice Dream Beverages (as well as the barley protein used to make the product) meet gluten free requirements. This has probably been true historically, however analytical testing methods did not permit us to make this claim. We have always maintained a conservative stance regarding gluten in the beverages. The same rigorous standards now allow us to declare them gluten free. The formula and processing methods for Rice Dream beverages have not changed. Each batch will be tested appropriately.

The Hain Celestial Group's labeling declares major allergens (peanuts, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, and wheat) and we follow the U.S. FDA's regulations. In addition, our labeling always declares gluten containing ingredients. We recognize the serious nature of the allergen issue and we strive to minimize risk.

Both major and minor ingredients of all products, as well as all processing procedures and equipment, are closely scrutinized and all potential allergen issues as determined by the Hain Celestial Group are declared on our labeling.

We assure you that strict manufacturing processes and procedures are in place and that all of our manufacturing facilities follow rigid allergen control programs that include staff training, segregation of allergen ingredients, production scheduling, and thorough cleaning and sanitation."

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I asked the company about the gluten free label recently. Below is the response they sent me. We've been drinking it....rats! I don't think that we (dd or myself) are that sensitive, so maybe we wouldn't notice. I think I'll have to look at another brand after reading your post, though.

Rho

Analytical testing methods and detection limits have improved over the years. Recent testing shows that the Rice Dream Beverages (as well as the barley protein used to make the product) meet gluten free requirements. This has probably been true historically, however analytical testing methods did not permit us to make this claim. We have always maintained a conservative stance regarding gluten in the beverages. The same rigorous standards now allow us to declare them gluten free. The formula and processing methods for Rice Dream beverages have not changed. Each batch will be tested appropriately.

The Hain Celestial Group's labeling declares major allergens (peanuts, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, and wheat) and we follow the U.S. FDA's regulations. In addition, our labeling always declares gluten containing ingredients. We recognize the serious nature of the allergen issue and we strive to minimize risk.

The Rice Dream statement confuses me. How could they use barley protein and still meet 'gluten free' reguirements? Does their label declare gluten containing ingredients, like barley? I'll have to look at a carton of Rice Dream, when I go to a store. I prefer almond milk (because I can't have dairy or soy) which has more fats and protein than most rice milks. I won't use a high carb beverage on high carb cereal, because I need the balance of fats and protein in a meal.

BURDEE

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I am confused too. If the milk had traces of barley in it, and hasn't changed their formula, the only thing I can figure is that they realized that the amount in the milk meets requirements for the official gluten-free definition, so they decided to put on gluten free, and not to put on the warning about traces anymore because it was costing them customers.

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I am confused too. If the milk had traces of barley in it, and hasn't changed their formula, the only thing I can figure is that they realized that the amount in the milk meets requirements for the official gluten-free definition, so they decided to put on gluten free, and not to put on the warning about traces anymore because it was costing them customers.

This is how I have understood it as well. They are legally allowed to call it gluten free so they do. And the law only requires them to inform us of the 8 major allergens and barely is not one of them. I wonder what else I am feeding by celiac son that has hidden gluten in it.

Nicole

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Ya know what's strange?...the fact that when something is labeled "vegan" and it's discovered that one ingredient in the product might have been derived from an animal source, mass apology letters are issued to the vegan community and the ingredients in the product are instantly changed.

see example

It should be the same for food products labeled gluten-free, imo. All of these barley containing products that are labeled gluten-free are kind of getting annoying. The other day I went to buy an herbal coffee labeled gluten-free, then I read the ingredients and barley was listed right on there (like - ingredient number two) :huh:

I understand that this new law about 20ppm will take effect soon...but why can't the gluten-free law be like the allergen labeling law? Any product with any amount of wheat in it must be labeled with "wheat" right? It's not like they test if first, to determine if there's less than 20ppm of wheat... Hmpf..oh well :rolleyes:

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This is how I have understood it as well. They are legally allowed to call it gluten free so they do. And the law only requires them to inform us of the 8 major allergens and barely is not one of them. I wonder what else I am feeding by celiac son that has hidden gluten in it.

Nicole

Infuriating isn't it? My daughter reacts to "green mountain tortilla chips", and they are clearly labeled gluten free as well.

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You know, I had gotten lazy about checking labels at times, and bought things labeled gluten-free without reading the ingredients. I guess I've learned my lesson. But I think Mango04 is absolutely right - if it has ANY amount of gluten containing ingredients, it should be labeled that way. When I first heard discussions about labeling, and the idea of labeling some items gluten lite, and others gluten free, I was against it. Now, I'm not so sure. Maybe it would help, if the one labeled gluten free truely had no gluten.

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Oh, shoot. And I recently said something somewhere about hearing (I did say "maybe" or "perhaps") that Rice Dreams had changed. I'm going to have to backtrack & figure out where I said this. I don't want to cause anyone's glutening :wacko:

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I'm so glad someone mentioned this - I recently started drinking Rice Dream again due to the 'gluten free' label that my mom pointed out to me. Within a couple days I began feeling very anxious (normal symptom for me of being glutened), having hot and cold flashes and bloating. Funny how such a small amount can still have an obvious effect.

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I'm so glad someone mentioned this - I recently started drinking Rice Dream again due to the 'gluten free' label that my mom pointed out to me. Within a couple days I began feeling very anxious (normal symptom for me of being glutened), having hot and cold flashes and bloating. Funny how such a small amount can still have an obvious effect.

Thanks to everyone for posting this information. I think that if everyone who reacts to their "gluten free" product wrote to them and copied the FDA, they might change the wording on their packaging.

It is just plain EVIL to not disclose allergen ingredients on a label. I hope they get sued and it teaches them a lesson.

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This was originally published in 2009, and updated Feb. 2011, by Tricia Thompson:

http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/newsletter/barley-enzymes-in-gluten-free-products/

It says that Rice Dream barley enzymes were tested and found to be gluten free with a sensitivity level of 5 ppm. The resulting milk should have even lower levels than that.

If anyone reacts to it, they must be sensitive to extremely low levels, or be reacting to something else.

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This was originally published in 2009, and updated Feb. 2011, by Tricia Thompson:

http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/newsletter/barley-enzymes-in-gluten-free-products/

It says that Rice Dream barley enzymes were tested and found to be gluten free with a sensitivity level of 5 ppm. The resulting milk should have even lower levels than that.

If anyone reacts to it, they must be sensitive to extremely low levels, or be reacting to something else.

The last time I tried Rice Dream was last year some time (I think) and I reacted STRONGLY!!!! I have not (nor will I ) try it again.

To me , It either has gluten or it does not. Rice Dream has gluten ,no matter how small the measurement.

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I emailed the company to see if they would like to set the record straight. I have heard they don't use the barley anymore. Stephanie's link is the first current " real" info I have seen. The rest are rumors or people's experiences which may be gluten or may be something else.

I agree with a1956chill, if it bothers you, don't use it.

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Thanks to everyone for posting this information. I think that if everyone who reacts to their "gluten free" product wrote to them and copied the FDA, they might change the wording on their packaging.

It is just plain EVIL to not disclose allergen ingredients on a label. I hope they get sued and it teaches them a lesson.

Barley is not an allergen.

(I have no current personal experience drinking it myself. I tried it when first DXed and was very sick at the time, so I cannot say if it was from that or not)

Some people report they can still react to that low level of gluten, so it is an individual choice.

There is really no legal ground to "sue" over.

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Interesting the timing of this discussion. My son is on a gluten-free diet for his autism. He can tolerate occasional gluten just fine as long as it isn't several days in a row or too much. We switched to Rice Dream from almond milk just for this week b/c we are experimenting with his diet, and today noticed a great increase in his repetitive behavior, meltdowns, etc. His typical response after getting too much gluten. At first we assumed it was b/c he was tired, but after reading this discussion I'm wondering if the Rice Dream could be contributing.

I tried making my own rice milk tonight. Was super easy - 1 cup cooked rice (I wound up adding about an extra 1/4-1/2 cup), 4 cups water, some vanilla and honey, then blended the heck out of it and put it through a nut milk bag. I liked it a lot. If his highness likes it, then I might do that from now on.

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I emailed the company to see if they would like to set the record straight. I have heard they don't use the barley anymore. Stephanie's link is the first current " real" info I have seen. The rest are rumors or people's experiences which may be gluten or may be something else.

I agree with a1956chill, if it bothers you, don't use it.

 

So, another year has gone by... did you ever get a response?

 

I'd be interested in knowing whether they're continuing this practice of including a barley-derived ingredient in their products which are labeled "gluten free."

 

Even though the resulting product has a low level of gluten that most people probably won't notice a reaction to, I still feel that it's dishonest marketing not to fully disclose the ingredients on the label so people can make an informed choice. 

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So, another year has gone by... did you ever get a response?

 

I'd be interested in knowing whether they're continuing this practice of including a barley-derived ingredient in their products which are labeled "gluten free."

 

Even though the resulting product has a low level of gluten that most people probably won't notice a reaction to, I still feel that it's dishonest marketing not to fully disclose the ingredients on the label so people can make an informed choice. 

No. I would have posted it. Great customer service, eh?

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"Barley is not an allergen?"

 

Beg pardon. Anything can be an allergen. Legal laws do not always dovetail with science.  Nothing more aggravating than to make something with an alleged gluten free product, and then feed a bit of it to the pet as a treat, and then have a pet suddenly scratching himself raw, and ending up with a vet bill.   And I have animals that the vet has tested for allergies, and guess what, this is even a bigger PIA when you have to avoid almost all manufactured horse feeds, because you have 2 horses and a dog all scratching and super sensitized to insect bites, because of some company's use of "natural grain byproducts" which can be anything.  Even barley leftovers from beer brewing.  Trying to keep dogs with known allergies out of any horse feeds that could be dribbled on the ground, and horses from rubbing their skin raw during spring/summer, is a real trip in allergy- land. 

 

Years later, I am still annoyed with some of these companies because I have used their products in the past and not only did I react, I initially could not figure out why I was reacting. And then I tossed a piece of homemade gluten free toast to the dog, made with guess what liquid and almond meal,  setting off another chain reaction, before I knew we were both going to get sick.    I can look out for myself, and read on the internet, and perhaps finally find someone who has written about this barley used in processing,  but our animals don't have any control over their own diets.  If this were my child, I'd be even more annoyed.   Nobody wants to "be" allergic or have a food intolerance, but not calling out ingredients lowers our human food standards to that used for pet foods, or even worse, livestock feeds, which are frequently made from "rejects" from human foods, put back into the system. 

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Thanks for sharing your story!

Sadly it's true that there's so much flexibility for companies to "bend the truth" on what they contain and how much. Anything from calories to gluten-free can be misleading based on nutrtion labels. It's even sadder that the "healthy alternative" companies are abusing these shades of grey just as much as the regular offenders.

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