Canadian Celiac Association Recommends Against Gluten-Free Cheerios

Canadian Celiac Association Recommends Against Gluten-Free Cheerios

Bottom Line Recommendation from CCA:

“ The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) recommends that people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity DO NOT consume the gluten-free labeled Cheerios products at this time because of concerns about the potential levels of gluten in boxes of these cereals. The CCA is receptive to evaluating any additional information that General Mills is willing to disclose.”

Gluten Free Watchdog is in complete agreement with the CCA’s position on “gluten-free” Cheerios

Gluten-free Cheerios will be widely available in Canada this month (August). As a result, the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) has issued the above recommendation on their use. To read the CCA statement in full see CCAStatementCheerios.

Gluten Free Watchdog’s Current Position on “Gluten-Free” Cheerios:

The oats used in gluten-free Cheerios are cleaned via mechanical sorting; they are not currently grown under a purity protocol. Due to our continuing concerns about the testing protocol used by General Mills to determine the “safety” of gluten-free labeled Cheerios we cannot recommend this product to the celiac disease community at this time. We are specifically concerned about the apparent lack of follow-up testing on individual boxes of Cheerios when individual test results used to determine a lot mean are at or above 20 ppm gluten.

For more information on GFWD’s position on Cheerios please see

Gluten Free Watchdog’s Current Position on Oats:

Gluten Free Watchdog supports the use of gluten-free oats by the celiac disease community that are produced under a purity protocol. At this time we do not in general support the use of regular commodity oats that are cleaned at the “end” of production via mechanical and/or optical sorting. We are not necessarily opposed to the use of such oats in the future if their gluten-free status can be definitively demonstrated via a rigorous testing protocol.

Important Notes:

  1. The Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCP) endorsed by CCA in Canada and Beyond Celiac in the US is certifying gluten-free Quaker Oats in Canada. It is unclear whether US product also will be certified.

Gluten Free Watchdog’s current position on Quaker gluten-free Oats; Based on all of the information available to us, including Quaker’s testing and our own independent testing, Gluten Free Watchdog does not oppose the use of Quaker gluten-free oatmeal by the celiac disease (and non celiac gluten sensitivity) community.

For more information on Gluten Free Watchdog’s position on Quaker gluten-free oats see

  1. GFCP also certifies Nairn’s gluten-free oat products. Oats used in these products are grown under a gluten-free purity protocol. For more information on the oats used in Nairn’s products see
  1. GFCP also certifies Holy Crap “gluten-free” oat products. Oats used in these products do NOT appear to be produced under a gluten-free purity protocol. On December 4, 2015 we posted the following information Holy Crap Oats has not responded to our query regarding the source of their oats. GFWD also reached out to their certifying body (GFCP). GFCP did not provide a direct answer to our question about the source of oats used by Holy Crap. They stated the following in email correspondence, “… We strongly support that on-farm intervention as we described be instituted as an efficient way to ensure success of achieving <20 ppm or gluten-free status for oats. Doing this, allows the source to seamlessly plug into the gluten-free management system at the manufacturing level which is then verified and validated as efficacious. However, without this, the manufacturer needs to fill the information and confidence gap using the appropriate testing methods at a frequency which reflects the risk prior to accepting the gluten-free oats into their production stream…” Until notified otherwise by either Holy Crap or GFCP, GFWD is making the assumption that the oats used in Holy Crap oat cereals are NOT purity protocol oats.

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