Thursday, August 7, 2014

The words "Gluten Free" before "Oats" not allowed in Ingredient List under new FDA Labeling Law!

With the new Gluten Free Labeling Law that took effect on August 5, 2014, packaged products that wish to use the "gluten free" term now have to be below 20ppm gluten content. 
While shopping in the supermarket the other day I saw the new Gluten Free Chex Oatmeal's and picked some up.  On the back- it said "whole grain oats" as the ingredient.  Not "certified gluten-free oats", just "whole grain oats."  Now the name of the product is Gluten Free Chex Oatmeal, so of course, these would have to be gluten free, right?  Well, I was so concerned that these were made with "regular" oats I contacted the company.  I asked them if in fact these products were made with "certified gluten free oats" or "regular oats?"   My response back was a standard form reply email, stating that "they do not have a gluten free listing, and to please read labels" - not answering my question at all. 
So I was happy to see this review on Gluten Free Oats on the Gluten Free Watchdog website!  They got a much better response from General Mills than I did- and they went even further to investigate their more accurate response. 
Apparently the new use of "oats" vs "gluten free oats" in ingredient labels of #GF foods can not say the words "gluten free" as per the FDA. Their reasoning is because it's not part of the "common or usual name" for an ingredient- but I have to agree with Gluten Free Watchdog that GLUTEN FREE OATS are not the same as just OATS.  We've been so trained to only eat products that say "gluten free oats" in them (for those of use who eat Certified Gluten Free Oats and can tolerate them) that now not having it there is a HUGE step back!!!
The FDA sometimes has NO clue what they're talking about and don't realize the ramifications they have on the general public.
Going forward, we now have to read the entire package- companies can put the words "Gluten Free" all over the product, but don't just go to the ingredient label... check all over for the words "gluten free" to know if in fact the product contains "gluten free" oats.
To read the summary on Gluten Free Watchdog's website please visit:


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