Gluten-Free Labeling

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 […]

Celiac Disease Awareness Month Call to Action: Email your representative TODAY in support of the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 (sample text provided)

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free
Watchdog will be issuing four calls to action (one each week).

The third call to action pertains to the Gluten in Medicine
Disclosure Act of 2019.

Please personalize the sample letter pasted below and
adapted from a letter provided to Gluten Free Watchdog by Rachel Jenkins,
Legislative Assistant to Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13). Email this letter to
your local representative. A state-by-state directory is available at

You can also find your representative by zip code at

For more […]

Call to Action: Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019

Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019. Representatives Ryan and Cole introduced this bill on April 3, 2019. The bill currently has 8 co-sponsors.

The text of the bill is available at

Please support this bill by contacting your representative. A state-by-state directory is available at

You can also find your representative by zip code at

I was contacted by Representative Ryan’s office and asked
for my opinion regarding wording of the bill. The bill currently reads in part
that a drug […]

Confused by USDA ingredient & allergen labeling? Read the facts recently confirmed by the agency

Over the past week, two of the amazing members of the Gluten Free Watchdog community reached out regarding issues with USDA labeling. In case you sometimes find yourself in a state of labeling confusion, here are the facts recently confirmed to GFWD by USDA on March 11th and 12th, 2019.

1. ALL ingredients must be declared by their “common or usual name” in foods regulated by the USDA.

2. Certain ingredients can be declared collectively, such as
flavoring. BUT protein-containing ingredients must […]

Yeast extract confusion made worse by the lack of manufacturer transparency

Gluten Free Watchdog received a consumer complaint about
Health Valley Gluten Free Café Chicken Noodle Soup. The product includes the
ingredient “flavors (including yeast extract).” Long story short, according to
the consumer who contacted us, she was told by Health Valley customer service
representatives that the source of the yeast extract was brewer’s yeast.
However, she never received a definitive answer regarding whether the brewer’s
yeast was spent brewer’s yeast.

Generally speaking, we do not advise contacting manufacturers about labeled gluten-free foods containing yeast extract. […]