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Frances03

The Chex Issue

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I think we should also be quite clear - are we talking about the flavored varieties, or the plain corn or rice ones? I've had issues with the chocolate and cinnamon flavors. I can't say for sure that it was gluten, but it seemed similar. (My reactions are neither extremely intense nor extraordinarily unique from other things that can cause bloating/loose stool/abdominal pain.) The plain corn and rice ones I've had no problem with.

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We got sick from all varieties, but more so from the honey-nut. Which really bummed me out, b/c they are really good. But we are really, really sensitive. We eat plenty of other whole grains just fine, I make brown rice/sorghum bread every day.

While I am annoyed at the situation, and don't think GM's manufacturing process for Chex is what it should be, I don't think I'd really want any media attention or anything like that. I sent an e-mail, and that's as far as I'll take it. Simply b/c I don't want any of the small companies, who make excellent gluten free products that I can feed my kids, to fear litigation, increase their prices, or go away completely. I do need those products, but I can live w/out Chex.

Since I'm rambling on about the subject...I went and read the actual proposal by the FDA to set a standard for gluten free labeling. I saw the loophole that allows Rice Dream to now exclude the barley malt from their labeling. Anyway, it was interesting to read.

I do like that my wheat free tamari is certified gluten free by the GFCO....it would be nice if more companies used them.

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Perhaps Chex has removed the gluten free label for the exact reasons discussed in this thread. They no longer will assume the responsibility of the assurance of a gluten free products (although no gluten ingredients are used). And they are under no obligation to do so. This puts the responsibility on the consumer, exactly where it should be.

I read labels and if a company clearly list all ingredients, I'm fine with that. If I consume a product that makes me ill, I don't buy it anymore.

Great inroads have been made in product labeling in just a few short years, but sometimes it's a giant leap backwards.

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Perhaps Chex has removed the gluten free label for the exact reasons discussed in this thread. They no long will assume the responsibility of the assurance of a gluten free products (although no gluten ingredients are used). And they are under no obligation to do so. This puts the responsibility on the consumer, exactly where it should be.

I read labels and if a company clearly list all ingredients, I'm fine with that. If I consume a product that makes me ill, I don't buy it anymore.

Great inroads have been made in product labeling in just a few short years, but sometimes it's a giant leap backwards.

I do the same.

I worry about what is going to happen to naturally gluten-free products if companies fear litigation or similar unfavorable action. We certainly don't need less gluten-free products.

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I'm annoyed. I could have SWORN I heard/read/was told that they had a gluten free facility for the gluten free chex!! I just called them after reading the other thread on here about cinnamon chex. I get so tired of reading the same thing over and over, I decided to just find out for myself what the heck is going on, I really dont see how someone could get wheat chex in their cinnamon chex, etc! Well, the person I just spoke to told me they do NOT have a gluten free facility! In fact they are just like any other company that "cleans their lines well" before they run the gluten free chex, and they test them for gluten. But how often do they test them?? Do they test every batch?? Do they allow a certain amount of gluten and still call it "gluten free"??? Well, I asked that last question, and the girl said she had never heard of that, but she would research it and call me back. I swear if they call and tell me they allow a certain amount of gluten in those darn chex, I'm never buying a damn box again!!! And I have 4 boxes here right now! I was about to make chex mix! I think we should all start writing letters telling them we want a gluten free facility for chex!

I have been eating the chex and have not been sick. Sorry to see you have been sick. Usually if I eat gluten-free after eating gluten product I will have symptoms...even days later and think it was the gluten-free food. Sometimes it taes days for the G toxin to exit our system. Stay gluten-free for awhile then try the gluten-free chex again. Just my opinion.

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Perhaps Chex has removed the gluten free label for the exact reasons discussed in this thread. They no longer will assume the responsibility of the assurance of a gluten free products (although no gluten ingredients are used). And they are under no obligation to do so. This puts the responsibility on the consumer, exactly where it should be........

Why do you say they have removed the gluten-free labels? I've not seen that here.

best regards, lm

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We haven't had any problems with Chex that is labeled gluten-free, but contacted them to check because of all the buzz lately - here is the General Mills Response:

"Thank you for contacting us about gluten in our gluten free Chex cereals.

General Mills offers several products that are labeled gluten-free. Please check the package label for the gluten-free statement on the front/side/back of the package. Only products that can be verified to be gluten free will be declared as gluten free on the label. It is important to check the product label each time you purchase a product because it has the most accurate information about the product in the package.

Because we constantly strive to improve our products′ quality and nutritional value, the most up-to-date product information is on the package the product is purchased in. For that reason, we do not distribute product information lists as they could quickly become outdated.

For products not labeled gluten free, we will always declare gluten containing ingredients if they are added to the product. If the ingredient declaration lists wheat, oats, barley, rye, or derivatives of these grains, then the product contains gluten. Examples of derivative ingredients include: malt, barley malt, organic malt, semolina, Durham, triticale, and spelt. We do not include gluten containing ingredients in the ′Natural Flavors′ or ′Spices′ on the product ingredient list. If there are gluten ingredients in our products, those ingredients are always clearly listed.

If there are no gluten- containing ingredients listed in the product ingredient label, but the product does not make a gluten free claim, it is because we cannot fully assure that this product is gluten free. While we have not added gluten-containing ingredients, factors such as sourcing, conditions of manufacture, etc. do not allow us to provide the full level of assurance that a gluten free claim requires."

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That's about as good as it gets regarding disclosures! Thank you GottaShi for that.

lm - from just the talk on this tread, not from personal experience.

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I seem to recall someone on the group testing various products to confirm gluten levels. It might pay for someone to try that if they can tolerate the trouble and expense. I sometimes have a reaction to Chex myself, but my theory is that it's the BHT as opposed to gluten as I react negatively to many preservatives.

Did anyone confirm if they actually dropped the Gluten Free claim on the packaging? I seriously doubt they would do that. My understanding is that sales were up tremendously, which is why General Mills decided to expand the Gluten Free certification across most of the Chex line as well as introducing the gluten-free Betty Crocker products.

Regards,

Ted (in NY)

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I just purchased the honey nut chex, and they have gluten free on all products in the cereal aisle. So here's hoping I don't react to it!

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you know for the past several months, every time I'd see one of these posts about Chex, I thought, "jeesh...not again...those guys are nuts..." Sorry :o

My DH has been eating the honey rice chex for months and I just realized he has been an A** for months. He has been screaming and yelling for months about EVERYTHING and we just thought he was overworked.

I guess it's back to the Barbara's that he doesn't like as well. Or scrambled eggs and Kinnikinnick waffles.

Sorry again. :P

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you know for the past several months, every time I'd see one of these posts about Chex, I thought, "jeesh...not again...those guys are nuts..." Sorry :o

My DH has been eating the honey rice chex for months and I just realized he has been an A** for months. He has been screaming and yelling for months about EVERYTHING and we just thought he was overworked.

I guess it's back to the Barbara's that he doesn't like as well. Or scrambled eggs and Kinnikinnick waffles.

Sorry again. :P

Isn't it nice to finally see the problem! We were eating Chex too. Until this thread was talking about how sleepy some people were getting I just thought it was me. No Chex in our house now.

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I've eaten TONS of Chex since they went gluten-free, all 5 flavors.

No reaction ever and I'm quite sensitive (ie: the glaze on Honeybaked Ham made me react).

I think it's entirely possible that it's another ingredient(s) you're all reacting to.

As far as the labeling, I've seen "new" boxes come in with and without the gluten-free written across the box (even though ingredients say it's gluten-free). Probably a few different plants, box designs out there.

Go to zero consumption and see if you react after reintroduction.

Best.

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I know I had a reaction to the Chex cereal, but I'm still healing & only been gluten free for 10 weeks. I felt bloated right after I ate them, so i know it was the cereal. I tried the strawberry & the cinnamon. I think the Strawberry made me feel worse than the cinnamon, but that's just me. What a bummer they don't have a gluten free facility. I'm not sure if I want to try them again even if I'm healed. It just defeats the purpose.

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I have tried going zero and reintroducing and I too had a reaction..it seems like quite a number of us struggling with this chex issue. I too have stopped eating it. I love cereal and really wanted this to work but its not looking good. I too wish this was made in a dedicated facility.

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I do the same.

I worry about what is going to happen to naturally gluten-free products if companies fear litigation or similar unfavorable action. We certainly don't need less gluten-free products.

Yes, true, but most have different standards OR/AND produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. If there is a discrepancy in the product, then they need to fear. If they are confident in their products, then there is no need to fear. The profit could go up, forcing people to purchase REAL gluten free products that are certified for fear of purchasing regular grocery store items that could be contaminated somehow.

It's ok, they all think it's in "our heads" anyways and probably expect nut-cases calling in. It is really our responsibility to be aware AND to choose wisely, BUT on the same level a food product company should ALWAYS be truthful. By rendering something gluten free and months later removing the label is not fair. But life isn't fair, right? Doesn't mean us with a gluten intolerance have to suffer more just because a company can't decide what to label their food with. They should have KNOWN that labeling the cereal gluten free would attract lots and lots of people who either prefer gluten free products OR have Celiac (whether or not it's in their head). They knew their product can't be 100% guaranteed, thus making NO sense to label as being gluten free. "Oh, darn...I forgot that our equipment is shared...have the box designers change the verbiage by next shipment!"

They REALLY did know and they just don't care. Which is what I am leaning on. They label it gluten free because the fad is growing. People want organic, good foods. People want gluten free foods now and even though they can't guarantee it's gluten free, they'll label it as such and make more money without any regards to just how serious an issue it is.

What next, Betty Crocker?

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I worry about what is going to happen to naturally gluten-free products if companies fear litigation or similar unfavorable action. We certainly don't need less gluten-free products.

Good point. The good news is that you may not have to worry.

From what I understand (and those more educated than I, please tell me if I am wrong), foods labeled gluten free or "naturally gluten free" are not necessarily saying they ARE gluten free. Something can be "naturally gluten free" and still be manufactured in a facility that also manufactures gluten or wheat.

So, because they're not really making any promises, they probably don't have to worry too much about losing a litigation.

That's the good news, at least for them. It is also good news for folks who are not so ultra sensitive to gluten that they must have products made in a dedicated facility.

The not-so-good-news is that many consumers are not educated in what the difference is between something labeled "naturally gluten-free" and products that are manufactured in a dedicated facility or labeled "certified gluten-free." Some highly sensitive folks get glutened without expecting it, and they often cannot figure out why. Words such as "naturally gluten-free" can trick people, which can be unfair.

So, the real worry is how to help people understand. Sadly, many manufacturers do not support that concern.

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The last post was about labeling in general, not Chex specifically. Such a discussion really belongs in the labeling forum here.

Neither "gluten-free" nor "naturally gluten-free" means anything about a dedicated facility in either the US or Canada.

The difference between those two is based on the fundamental principle, enforced in both countries, that a label not be misleading. To label a food gluten-free, that fact must distinguish that particular product from other similar products. To mention the gluten-free status of a product where it is inherent in the product itself, it must be done so as not to imply that other similar products contain gluten.

Permitted:

Bob's Gluten-Free Bagels.

Joe's Gluten-Free Corn Flakes.

Misleading, and therefore not permitted:

Lucy's Gluten-Free Organic Potatoes.

Alice's Gluten-Free Whole-Grain Brown Rice.

Acceptable:

Fred's Naturally Gluten-Free Potatoes.

Other ways that are acceptable.

Jack's Farm-Fresh Butter. This butter, like all butter, is gluten-free.

Edgar's Organic Eggs. Eggs are a gluten-free food.

None of these labels imply anything about dedicated facilities or testing for gluten-free status.

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I just emailed GM to request more details on their CHEX manufacturing and testing. I'll post when I recieve a reply.

Here's the reply we recieved this morning.

---------------

Dear Dr. xxxxxxxx:

Thank you for contacting us concerning Chex cereal. We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter.

A cereal that is labeled

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I thought I had read or heard that too. I just checked the boxes of chex I have and didn't see anything. I do have a Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix and it does say that it is made in a gluten free facility.

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