Gluten-Free Labeling

Do folks with celiac disease really have to worry about enzymes and growth media?

Short answer: We don’t know. This is due to the limitations of the assays currently used to detect and measure fermented or hydrolyzed gluten.

Some facts about enzymes:

1. According to the Enzyme Technical Association, “In most cases, enzymes used in food are used as processing aids where they aid in the manufacturing of food or food ingredients but do not have a function in the final food product.”

2. Also according to the ETA, “nearly all commercially prepared foods contain at […]

Statement from Gluten Free Watchdog on Nabisco Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

***Note: What follows is the opinion of Gluten Free Watchdog. Whether or not you choose to eat gluten-free Oreo cookies is your decision. You do not owe anyone an explanation. Please make decisions based on all available information.***

Nabisco Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies: Gluten Free Watchdog is on the fence about this cookie. We have tested numerous packages and test results are very encouraging. We love that the actual cookie includes a gluten-free imprint. This is brilliant. This product is also […]

Lessons Learned from 16 Years of Testing Food for Gluten

This video presentation with audio is about 30 minutes long. The focus is on lessons learned from 16 years of testing food for gluten. The positive news is that the vast majority of the hundreds of foods tested through GFWD have tested below 20 parts per million of gluten. There have been a few unwelcome surprises over the years, including the level of cross contact in lentils and the number of products impacted by facial misbranding. We’ve also learned […]


During this period of food shortages and supply disruptions as a result of COVID-19, FDA is allowing manufacturers to make certain ingredient substitutions without changing the ingredients list. FDA stated in a letter to Gluten Free Watchdog that their COVID-19 food labeling flexibilities:

“… are not to be used when they may pose a health or safety issue. This would include the introduction of an ingredient containing gluten. Substitutions, in any amount, are not appropriate without a corresponding label […]

FDA responds to our concerns about their temporary policy on food labeling changes

The FDA has responded to the group letter submitted by Gluten Free Watchdog and six other patient/consumer advocacy and professional groups outlining our concerns about FDA’s temporary policy on food labeling changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it may have on the celiac disease community.

The FDA response further clarifies agency position and elaborates on the wording used in their guidance document. Regardless, it appears unlikely that FDA will be amending the current guidance. The agency has […]

FDA’s Temporary Policy Regarding Certain Food Labeling Requirements: Implications for Those with Celiac Disease

Many of you have reached out about the FDA’s guidance document regarding labeling entitled “Temporary Policy Regarding Certain Food Labeling Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Minor Formulation Changes and Vending Machines.” The entire document is available at If you haven’t yet read this guidance, it states in a nutshell that during this period of food shortages and supply disruptions, FDA is allowing manufacturers to make certain ingredient substitutions without changing the ingredients list.

Allowed substitutions include those […]

Yes, products can be properly labeled gluten-free AND include a “Contains wheat” statement

Luna LemonZest and Blueberry Mash-Ups Bar

Over the past couple months Gluten Free Watchdog has received numerous queries about a new Luna bar flavor. The ingredients include wheat syrup. The product label includes a “Contains wheat” statement. And the following wording is included on packaging: “The wheat has been processed to allow this food to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for gluten-free foods.”

So what gives?

This product is in compliance with the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule.

How […]

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.

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 […]