Are the oats in this labeled gluten-free product gluten-free?

Are the oats in this labeled gluten-free product gluten-free?

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2018,

A series of bites, barks, tail wags, face licks, and pant tugs from Gluten Free Watchdog

May 12, 2018

Gluten Free Watchdog Bite, Post # 12

Did you know that the term “gluten-free” is not supposed to be included in an ingredients list to describe oats?

I posed the following question to the FDA, “Is there anything in FDA labeling regulations that would prevent a manufacturer who is using specially produced gluten-free oats in their product from including the ingredient name “gluten-free oats” in the ingredients list?”

FDA’s answer: “Gluten-free” is not part of the common or usual name for an ingredient. In addition, the term could be considered intervening material in the ingredient statement.”

My response: “Just to confirm, is FDA saying that listing oats as “gluten-free oats” or “certified gluten-free oats” in the ingredients is misbranding and not allowed?

FDA’s answer: “Technically it may be considered a misbranding violation; however, FDA has discretion to take enforcement action against a firm for various violations.  We look at food labels on a case-by-case basis for various violations before determining if we would use our resources to take action against a firm. The firm has the option to state that the oats are gluten-free elsewhere on the label.”

So there you have it. Not allowing the term gluten-free in the ingredients list makes it impossible for consumers to know whether an oat ingredient included in a labeled gluten-free food is gluten-free, certified gluten-free, purity protocol or non of the above.

Manufacturers, including the term “gluten-free” in an ingredients list is a misbranding violation Gluten Free Watchdog will NOT report!

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