Monday, July 19, 2010

Including Oats into a Gluten-Free labeling law?

An interesting article came out on Saturday in the Times Colonist in Canada regarding the inclusion of un-contaminated oats into the gluten-free diet. Health Canada is proposing to revise their standard for labeling products as “Gluten-Free” to now include the use of pure, un-contaminated oats into this definition. Studies have been shown that pure, un-contaminated oats, in “moderate” quantities are OK on a gluten-free diet. But opponents of the new labeling are arguing that some with Celiac Disease cannot tolerate even a small amount of oats in their diet, and the testing they did, did not include a large amount of subjects in their study. The US still has not issued their labeling laws with regards to GF products- but will hopefully be out one of these days/months/years and I do not know if they are considering the inclusion of un-contaminated oats into their definition? I hope they do not- I am one of those people that try to avoid oats, even pure, un-contaminated oats. I worry with the inclusion of un-contaminated oats- how would the US regulate If a company labeling it’s product GF was in fact using un-contaminated oats? I would prefer to not have products that contain oats overall. I keep seeing more and more companies including Oats and Oat flour in their products. Mom and Pop companies are also starting to use oats, and some on their labels don’t even state that the oats are “pure, un-contaminated” oats. What worries me, is now that everyone seems to be coming out with a gluten-free product, did these new companies do their research, and when including oats, are they going the extra step and buying “un-contaminated” oats, or are they just buying oats, because they see that they are now proven OK on a GF diet, and not getting safe ones for us to eat. On products that say they contain oats, even if it says GF on the front, if I cannot say for sure that they are un-contaminated oats, and that I do not know the company, and if they did their research- I avoid them- but that is just my personal choice.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out in Canada, and what, if any effect it has on the US.

What are your thoughts on Oats in a GF Diet?

Link to article:

1 comment:

Ann Parry NY said...

Thanks for bringing up the "no oats - oats - uncontaminated oats - ignoring oats as factor" label dilemma when eating gluten-free. I agree, it often seems safer-easier to just skip oats altogether, unless from a known-respected company.