Author: Tricia Thompson

Gluten and Cross-Reactivity

For the past several
years there have been rumblings in the celiac disease community about gluten
and foods that are “cross-reactive”. These foods supposedly include coffee,
dairy, yeast, corn, millet, and rice. 

Where does this information come from?  The information comes from a study published in 2013 and co-authored by the Chief Scientific Advisor at Cyrex Laboratories. We’re not going to get into the weeds in this brief post but the full article entitled Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue […]

When a regulatory agency (USDA) actually enforces the gluten-free labeling rule and recalls a product containing wheat-based soy sauce

On August 30, 2019, the United States Department of
Agriculture announced the recall of Heatherfield
Foods Inc. pork sausage products due to misbranding. The sausage is labeled
gluten-free yet contains wheat. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2019/recall-088-2019-release?permalink=35A47FAFA869093A250D7843C3A55B6D5ADD2BFB5919576B6453B59930E6CE26

Why is this
recall particularly significant?

It took
place because of a consumer complaint received by USDA.Based on
consumer photographs sent to Gluten Free Watchdog, the source of wheat in the
sausage is soy sauce.USDA
doesn’t have an agency defined gluten-free labeling rule. Instead
they require manufacturers under their labeling jurisdiction to adhere to the gluten-free
labeling rule […]

Gluten Free Watchdog Now Testing Restaurant Menu Items for Gluten

After
years of good intentions, Gluten Free Watchdog has started testing menu items
represented as gluten-free.

What is being tested? Early testing is focusing on nationwide chain restaurants that state in writing and verbally that their menu items marked gluten-free are appropriate for folks with celiac disease.

What is the protocol for collecting samples and sending them to the lab? Subscribers to Gluten Free Watchdog are facilitating this testing. Volunteers are purchasing the same menu item from chain restaurant locations across […]

Call to Action: Help Us Determine the Current Status of Facial Misbranding of Gluten-Free Foods on Store Shelves

Please help us assess the current labeling status of gluten-free foods previously reported to FDA for facial misbranding (i.e., food is labeled gluten-free but lists an ingredient not allowed under the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule).

The next time you are shopping for food, please check store shelves for the products listed below. In the relatively recent past these products have included a gluten-free claim on their packaging and named in the ingredients list an ingredient not allowed under FDA’s […]

Removing Gluten from Fryer Oil: A High School Science Fair Project

Alannah Miller and Alisa Stolyar from Hopkinton High School in Massachusetts provided a summary of their science fair project, “Let’s Yeet This Wheat: Removing Gluten From Fryer Oil” to Gluten Free Watchdog for posting. We are proud to have helped sponsor this project in support of young women in science, especially those working in the celiac disease and gluten-free realm. Brava to these young women. Please read their summary report. (click on the icon after it loads).

FOIA Request from Gluten Free Watchdog Pertaining to Product Complaints Submitted to CAERS

On June 11, 2019, Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, Founder of Gluten Free Watchdog and Kaki Schmidt, Esq. submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Health and Human Services FOI/Privacy Acts Division concerning six product (food) complaints filed with CAERS following the instructions of FDA staff. Complaint numbers were not provided by CAERS for any of these complaints. Nor were any of the complaints acknowledged by CAERS.  

This FOIA requests ALL CAERS/FDA records pertaining to […]

A young person’s take on a mascot for celiac disease and a campaign to raise awareness

Last week, Gluten Free Watchdog issued a call to action asking the community to brainstorm on a visually impactful and positive mascot to represent celiac disease—thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. The original idea included a chameleon. Their changing colors could represent the many and varied signs and symptoms of celiac disease. Please see https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/celiac-disease-awareness-month-call-to-action-the-celiac-disease-community-needs-a-mascot/

The daughter of a Gluten Free Watchdog community member drew
this picture of a chameleon. She cleverly included various signs and symptoms
on the body […]

Letter to FDA Regarding Restaurant Use of the Term Gluten-Free on Menus

Gluten Free Watchdog’s second call to action for Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2019 was a request for the community to submit photos of restaurant menus that designate items as gluten-free yet provide a disclaimer about the lack of suitability for someone with celiac disease. The response was overwhelming. Thank you! A handful of the photos are included in the attached letter to FDA regarding restaurants and their use of the term “gluten-free”. Please read the letter and let me […]

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