So Confused! in Gluten-Free Foods, Products, Shopping & Medications Posted July 6, 2007 · Report to Admin No, we are not capable of testing for 0% at a reasonable cost - or at all - technologically or scientifically. There is not instrumentation to do it. Logically, you cannot prove a negative, and you're asking scientific instruments to do this. The products that you see currently labeled gluten free are not tested and proven to be free of any possible trace of gluten. This is not true - logically you can prove a negative. Peanut testing is a great example. If it doesn't contain ANY peanuts of any kind or derivative, it's peanut-free, if it contains traces of peanuts - it says so - "May contain traces of peanuts". As for products currently on the market claiming to be gluten-free - goodwill and lawsuits have held them in check. It's only since the recent explosion of the gluten-free market that there has been this drive to define "gluten-free" as something less than gluten-free - the "big-boys" want to cash in but not assume any liability. Those companies that can't take that risk shouldn't. Those companies that can't be held to that standard (0% percent gluten) should be liable. If it's not possible to test at that level as you claim, then the ingredients should state - may contain gluten at 20ppm - not "gluten-free". You've been brainwashed or work for the food industry or both. The arsenic example is a good one. There are limits to how little arsenic can be detected in a sample of water, due to both sample size and accuracy of the instrumentation itself. The reason that water will never be promoted as arsenic-free is that it is a naturally occurring substance that has always been, and will always be, in water, and only at certain doses is it toxic. The reason that water is not promoted as arsenic-free is because it isn't. While it is a naturally occurring substance, we as a species also contribute to its production. As to it's toxicity "only at certain doses" - well, I suppose you'd say it depends on where you live (China for example) and the testing instrumentation available as to whether it was toxic or not. Beyond this, it's important to note that there are two issues at play: 1. the technological limitations both current and theoretic 2. the legal limitations (that are partially driven by market limitations) These are both separate and intertwined when it comes to making and enforcing policy. Perhaps you misunderstood the point I was making. Our lawmakers, our regulators, and even our medical community can only deal with real data. Anecdotal evidence, which is not supported by scientific study, will play no part in a formalized decision making process for a large number of people, because it is not scientifically sound. That is not to say it is wrong; it merely says it is unsupported. The 20 ppm "gluten-free" standard, without any sort of additional information - "may contain traces of gluten", etc., will wreak havoc on the gluten-free market. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this same Rice Dream question over the last 10 years... just read the responses on this one. Rice Dream gets a resounding "thumbs-down" (at the proposed legal limit 20 ppm) from the majority of writers, and some still seem confused, etc (I guess that's your market, huh?). Now multiply that by all of the new products that will come out once that 20ppm comes into being. You're going to have lots of sick and pissed off people. You're going to have people that think that they're following a gluten-free diet when they aren't. It's all going to make things more confusing than they already are and there will be a backlash and there will be lawsuits. I suppose that is when the "real data" you mention above will come in... along with a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering. I actually have not voiced my personal opinion on this board on the matter in nearly a year, but have merely tried to help explain how the policy is going to be set. Policy is never set for the tail cases - on either end of the distribution, when it's not specifically about that. It's vital that we remember the context of the decisions being made, they are far beyond each of us individually. Indeed! Read all of these responses from all of these folks.