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Do Non Certified Oats Really Have Gluten?

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I have a gluten free household, and the cost of Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free oats is killing us. I wonder if their regular oats are really glutinous...I'd rather eat those because they're organic, and half the price of the non-organic gluten-free ones.

My thoughts:

They clean out their equipment between items, and throw out the first (30?) lbs.

I've been using their other products--say, cornmeal--for years (there didn't used to be a gluten-free cornmeal). How is corn different from regular oats? Both could have been grown with wheat, next door to wheat, etc. Both are made in the same factory.

I used to eat McCann's, after hearing from many that they are considered "safe".

Why isn't there a warning on BRM products like, say, cornmeal, saying that the corn may have been grown with soy, which is not uncommon, or that they are made in the same factory? Both corn and soy are major allergens, after all. (I don't think there's a warning). I feel skeptical, like they realize the gluten-free market is huge and a good money maker.

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Wheat and oats are similar in many physical ways. The farmer will use the same harvesting equipment, transportation equipment, and so forth for oats as for wheat, and this continues all the way along the supply line. As a result, the oats are almost certain to be contaminated with wheat. The reverse is equally true: commercial wheat is contaminated with oats.

Corn, on the other hand, is harvested and processed very differently, and the equipment is not used for other crops.

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Bob's Red Mill gluten free oats are grown separate from wheat, processed by wheat-free equipment on the field, transported and stored separate from wheat, and processed in a separate factory. BRM goes through a lot of effort to ensure the gluten free status of their oats. Remember that oats do have some structural similarities with gluten grains, and an estimated ten percent of celiac patients react to gluten free oats. If you can tolerate oats, I think the extra cost is well worth it.

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I have a gluten free household, and the cost of Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free oats is killing us. I wonder if their regular oats are really glutinous...I'd rather eat those because they're organic, and half the price of the non-organic gluten-free ones.

My thoughts:

They clean out their equipment between items, and throw out the first (30?) lbs.

I've been using their other products--say, cornmeal--for years (there didn't used to be a gluten-free cornmeal). How is corn different from regular oats? Both could have been grown with wheat, next door to wheat, etc. Both are made in the same factory.

I used to eat McCann's, after hearing from many that they are considered "safe".

Why isn't there a warning on BRM products like, say, cornmeal, saying that the corn may have been grown with soy, which is not uncommon, or that they are made in the same factory? Both corn and soy are major allergens, after all. (I don't think there's a warning). I feel skeptical, like they realize the gluten-free market is huge and a good money maker.

Gluten is not an allergen (by FDA standards) first of all. So the fact that anyone bothers to label and concern themselves with cross-contamination is terrific. "Secondly, FDA regulations (21 CFR 101.100(a)(3)) exempt from ingredient declaration incidental additives, such as processing aids, that are present in a food at insignificant levels and that do not have a technical or functional effect in the finished food.". FDA Allergy warning letter from 2004. This portion of the requirements still stands, and 'cross-contamination' is not considered an allergen threat.

Many manufactureres ARE labelling potential cross-contamination sources ('Produced in a shared facility...', etc), but once again they are only applying the 'Top 8' allergen list.

Also, the gluten-free labelling which went into effect Jan 1, 2008 states, "In addition, a food made from

oats that bears a gluten-free claim in its labeling would be deemed misbranded if the claim suggests that all such foods are gluten-free or if 20 ppm or more gluten is present in the food." So for them to label oats gluten free they MUST be able to certify a presence of less than 20 ppm. Many oats which are not specifically grown as gluten-free oats do not meet this requirement.

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