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Watch Out For Vitamin World

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I've been an "Anti-Glutenator" for a couple weeks. I'm over the shock and horror and now just doing what must be done. I don't get symptoms which is just as bad as it is good. If I eat gluten, I won't have a clue. So, accuracy with product info is an absolute must for me because my body won't warn me.

That being said, check out this story about a recent conversation with Vitamin World:

Last week, I was looking at all my Vitamin World labels. I have a couple hundred dollars worth of their products at any given time. I noticed on most labels have a "Free of" list and wheat is on a couple items. Most say "free of wheat." But as many of you gluten saavy members know, wheat free does not mean gluten free. I called Vitamin World (866-667-8977) and reached a "technical food specialist" named Crystal at X7582. She noted that unless I had product numbers, she could not help me. I told her that I could give her product names and the product numbers were on their own website. She was very polite, but repeated her "no numbers, no help" statement.

So, would you believe, that during a train ride home, I fired up my laptop, got on my wireless, went to Vitamin World's website and looked up each product for the number with Crystal on the cell! I can't belive Crystal couldn't or wouldn't do this. Right out of the gate, I mentioned Mega Vita Gel (product #1083). Here's the label for your reference:

http://www.vitaminworld.com/vf/labels/001083VW.pdf

I knew this product contained wheat as it clearly states below the nutritional information box. Yet, when I asked Crystal about it, she said it was gluten-free. I couldn't believe it. I asked, "are you sure?" She said, "absolutely." She continued, "I'm looking at two databases and they both say gluten free." I was speechless as I realized that people place their health on the line for advice like this. Remember, this is the person who wouldn't go on to her own company's website. So, I had to describe the label to her and that it clearly noted WHEAT as a warning... She began to sound confused and stated that the label must be old and therefore, was inaccurate. I asked, "if the label was old, does it follow that the product is likewise old and therefore, contains wheat? She insisted all products were fresh and repeated her "two database" findings. It goes without saying that I'm struggling with Crystal's credibility; not to mention Vitamin World brand freshness and accuracy. Either way, it appears I'm in trouble.

Let me be clear about something here. I am NOT a vendor. I don't sell vitamins. I have no interest or affiliation with Vitamin World, it's competitors, Celiac.com or any entity that might have an ax to grind. I'm just a guy who found out he has Celiac and I take vitamins. I want to keep taking vitamins, but I want decent quality that is not insanely priced. That eliminates most companies.

I desperately hoped that I would learn that Vitamin World would be OK. But now, I couldn't trust them if my life depended on it (and it might)! Crystal promised she'd get back to me with some facts to corroborate her databases. It comes as no surprise that I heard NOTHING from her since.

I posted this incident to get some feedback from my fellow members here specifically about Vitamin World. I would love to learn that some of you very sensitive card-holders of the Celiac life take Vitamin World products with no issues. If you're out there, please respond. Because until I find otherwise, it looks like Vitamin World can't be trusted. I imagine some of you will tell me about other brands. If you do, I'm specifically looking for gel or capsules. But I'd really like to hear from some of you on Vitamin World.

Thanks for reading.


6

Celiac Dx: June 16, 2008

EDG Confirmation: Acheived C3 "severe" on July 8, 2008

Gluten-Free Since: June 21, 2008

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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Does anyone have any experience with Vitamin World products? Any reactions? Can anyone here say it's safe from their own experiences? I'd really like to hear from you! I can't believe there's no one with any feedback.


6

Celiac Dx: June 16, 2008

EDG Confirmation: Acheived C3 "severe" on July 8, 2008

Gluten-Free Since: June 21, 2008

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No feedback on that company, but I did contact Rainbow Light out of curiousity since they claim gluten free so I wondered if they tested. This was their response:

For our products that state

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Here's a follow up:

To date, I never heard a word from "Crystal." A week ago, I decided to give them one more chance. Nevermind it's been about 2 months since Crystal promised she'd call me with the vital gluten-free information. This time, I got Karen at the NY Call Center. I told her all about how I was trying to confirm a number of products with Crystal and that I was ignored. This time, I told Karen that I wanted to order about $290 of products, which was actually true. I told her it was vital that someone verified whether the products in question are gluten free and to respond to me so that I could purchase (if safe).

Karen was very sympathetic about Crystal's lack of responsibiltiy. I told her that I felt as though Vitamin World did not take Celiac Disease very seriously. She assured me that this time, she would return my call within 24 hours with answers.

Well, guess what kids!? NO REPLY!!!!

That sums up how concerned Vitamin World is about those who have Celiac Disease and want to use their products. Don't ask for gluten-free confirmations unless you have an eternity to wait for no answer! Sadly, Karen went from sympathetic to simply pathetic!

Thanks for the crappy CS and concern Vitamin World! Vitamin Shoppe, here I come.


6

Celiac Dx: June 16, 2008

EDG Confirmation: Acheived C3 "severe" on July 8, 2008

Gluten-Free Since: June 21, 2008

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