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Found 3 results

  1. Celiac.com 04/24/2017 - The fallout continues from General Mills' recall of nearly 2 million boxes of Gluten Free Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios in 2015, which occurred after workers at a California plant accidentally loaded gluten-free oat flour into trucks that had been holding wheat flour, which contains gluten, and which then contaminated batches of "gluten-free" cereal produced with the grain from those trucks. In comments to the U.S. Ninth Circuit court, plaintiffs representing a proposed class of consumers claimed that a lower court had erred in dismissing their lawsuit on the grounds that the company's recall program made the claims baseless. They asked that the court allow their lawsuit against General Mills to continue. The suit is based on claims that the supposedly gluten-free Cheerios that had been made with the wrong flour, and that the cereal had sickened consumers. Lead plaintiff Christopher Hamilton told the panel that a refund program alone does not moot a claim for damages, as courts have held that, while refund programs do moot restitution claims, they do not moot claims for damages and injunctive relief, such as Hamilton's. "Indeed, in a case based on the exact facts present here, a court in California held that the Cheerios recall program did not moot a consumer's damages claim because the defendants did not satisfy the plaintiff's claims for statutory damages and injunctive relief," said Hamilton. Hamilton, who has celiac disease, brought his suit in March 2016 after buying the supposedly "gluten-free," wheat-contaminated Cheerios. One sample revealed 43 parts per million of gluten, more than twice the legal ceiling for the "gluten-free" label, Hamilton said in his complaint. Still, to the layperson, Hamilton's request for damages and injunctive relief invites questions. First, since the company issued a full product recall, what type of injunctive relief would they be seeking? Second, regarding damages, exactly what type of monetary damages would be claimed? Did these plaintiffs incur medical expenses, missed work or other costs? That is not made clear in these filings. When U.S. District Judge Michael McShane dismissed the original suit in July, he did so based on the fact that General Mills did issue a full product recall. In his statements on the matter, the judge wrote: "Rather than mitigate his damages by accepting General Mills' recall/refund offer, Hamilton is suing General Mills for false labeling, marketing and promotion of the product. Hamilton paints a discreet [sic] manufacturing mishap as a grand scheme of deceptive advertising, marketing and labeling." Judge McShane added, "I find this to be creative at best." But Hamilton says that he should be permitted to amend his complaint to include claims that the recall was delayed, and that the company was aware of complaints from sick consumers as early as July 2015. Hamilton also wishes to include allegations that General Mills deliberately ignored warnings from a dietitian that General Mills gluten-free testing was inferior. The case is Christopher Hamilton v. General Mills Inc. et al., case number 16-36004, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Read more at Law360.com.
  2. Celiac.com 01/02/2015 - What an odd thing to say: “Do not mask the appearance of celiac disease.” Inferring that you keep on eating gluten, despite early signs of celiac disease, until you get enough damage to your intestines that it can be seen under a microscope. I totally disagree with this concept—but this is still a common belief of medical practitioners. For instance a dietitian said this recently: “Gluten-free diet as an experiment to see if you (or your children) feel better, can be beneficial, but this approach can mask underlying celiac disease.” Have you ever heard of a doctor “masking” the diagnosis of heart disease by failing to treat high blood pressure or high cholesterol until the patient has a heart attack? Ridiculous! Have you ever heard of a doctor “masking” the diagnosis of depression so that the person is suicidal before given help? Ridiculous! A colleagues writes: “As far as ‘masking’ celiac disease, that would be like saying that a person who is pre-diabetic should continue to eat lots of sugar and carbs so they can destroy enough beta cells to develop full blown diabetes. That eating low carb might mask diabetes. Meanwhile the pre-diabetic blood sugars can continue to damage the body in many insidious ways. Maybe these dietary changes should be looked at as preventive measures that are good.” So why is the “masking” concept reserved for celiac disease? I regard a slightly raised tTG result as a ‘smoking gun’ (this also goes for EMA and DGP). Yes, the concept of “do not go gluten-free so that you do not mask celiac disease diagnosis” is contentious. There are many threads to this problem: Celiac disease is a progressive condition—it slowly gets worse the longer you eat gluten; In the early stages of celiac disease, it cannot be diagnosed by endoscopy biopsy; The biopsy test is inaccurate and relies on experts to recognize early disease; Most people who get gluten-illness do not have celiac disease; Gluten-related-disorders-without-gut-damage are indistinguishable from early-celiac-without-gut-damaage-yet; Carrying the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene cannot be used to make a diagnosis, but if you do not carry the gene, it will be very unlikely that you have celiac disease; The “masking” concept originated a few decades ago when biopsy was the only way to diagnose celiac disease; Now, the blood tests for celiac disease (EMA, tTG, DGP) are more accurate than the biopsy, and can turn positive BEFORE there is any histologic evidence of gut damage; Once celiac disease has become established, you cannot guarantee complete remission; Gluten challenge is detrimental to your health; A gluten challenge (to create serious bowel damage) can take years, during which time ongoing body damage (brain, skin and bowel) is ongoing; Celiac disease and gluten-senitivity often co-exist. This concept is addressed in my new book “Gluten-related disorder: sick? tired? grumpy?” Available as an ebook at http://www.GlutenRelatedDisorder.com.
  3. Celiac.com 03/19/2012 - A clinical gastroenterology research team recently weighed in on the practice of using weight as a factor to screen for celiac disease. They are calling for doctors to ignore body-mass when assessing patients for possible celiac disease screening. The team was made up of Fabio Meneghin, Dario Dilillo, Cecilia Mantegazza, Francesca Penagini, Erica Galli, Giulia Ramponi, and Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti. They are affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics of the Università di Milano Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, Italy. The team argues that, more and more, people with clinical celiac disease are presenting widely varied symptoms, while classic gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea or failure to thrive are becoming less frequent at diagnosis. In fact, data shows that symptoms once considered to be atypical are now appearing at least as often as classical symptoms related to nutritional malabsorption. Recent studies and case reports show that the expected clinical-condition of malnutrition, typical in a disease where there is a disorder of absorption, is less frequent than in the past. Meanwhile, overweight and even obesity are increasingly common in people with as yet undiagnosed celiac disease. The team points out that obesity has become the most prevalent nutritional disorder among children and adolescent of United States, and also in many European countries. They note that a rates of overweight and obesity have doubled in a single generation. They use these facts to encourage doctors to screen for celiac disease without regard for the patient’s body weight, and thus speeding diagnosis and avoiding possible clinical consequences for patients. For now, their call has been rejected by the editors of Gastroenterology Research and Practice. However, look for this kind of call to be echoed in the future, as data are compiled, and the realities of celiac disease are better understood. Source: Gastroenterology Research and Practice
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