Four of eight products recalled: YOU are making a difference!

Four of eight products recalled: YOU are making a difference!

We are making progress. To date, four of the eight products reported to FDA by Gluten Free Watchdog in 2020 have been recalled. If you have the energy during these trying times, please continue to send emails to the FDA personnel listed below (Secretary Azar and Commissioner Hahn have been removed from the list at this time as they have their hands full fighting COVID-19). Emails are recommended at the moment because FDA personnel may be working remotely. The updated letter I’m sending on behalf of the Gluten Free Watchdog community is in the photo and also pasted below. I’ve also attached photos of the two products we are focusing on during this email campaign. Please attach product photos to your emails. Pictures speak volumes. Please feel free to use any or all of the information below in your own letter.

Suggested recipients of your letter:

Susan Mayne, PhD

Director, CFSAN

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740-3835

Susan.Mayne@fda.hhs.gov

Claudine Kavanaugh

Director, Office of Nutrition & Food Labeling

CFSAN

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740-3835 

claudine.kavanaugh@fda.hhs.gov

Megan Velez

(Acting) Director, Office of Regulations & Policy

CFSAN

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740-3835

Megan.Velez@fda.hhs.gov

William A. Correll, Jr.,

Director, Office of Compliance

CFSAN

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740-3835

william.correll@cfsan.fda.gov

Robin Mckinnon

Senior advisor for nutrition policy

CFSAN

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740-3835

Robin.McKinnon@fda.hhs.gov

Text of letter:

Dear,

Four of the eight products reported to FDA via CAERS by Gluten Free Watchdog in 2020 have been recalled and posted on either FDA’s enforcement report page or recall listing. On behalf of the Gluten Free Watchdog community, thank you for the role you’ve played in these recalls. Please continue your efforts and recall the remaining four products. Two of these products are included as an attachment to this letter.

Since we filed our FDA citizen petition asking for increased surveillance, investigation and enforcement of potential facial misbranding violations under the “Gluten-Free Labeling Rule” (see https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2017-P-5118) and the supplement to this petition (see https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/GFWDPetitionSupplementFinal.pdf), numerous misbranded products continue to be reported to Gluten Free Watchdog by consumers.  The slow enforcement of the gluten-free labeling rule is putting at risk the health of people with celiac disease. It also is emboldening manufacturers to openly disregard the codified rule.

As FDA is well aware, it was a long journey over several years to finalize the gluten-free labeling rule. Many responsible gluten-free food manufacturers have taken the time and resources to ensure their labeling practices comply with the rule.

But the journey is not complete. Too many misbranded products remain in circulation. We ask that FDA promptly turn its attention to the manufacturers who blatantly are not in compliance, including manufacturers who use barley ingredients in labeled gluten-free foods.  These manufacturers will change their practices when they hear from FDA on one of their products. This, in turn, will reduce the number of misbranded products in circulation, thereby meeting the objectives of the gluten-free labeling rule and restoring consumer confidence in the term “gluten-free” when it appears on a product.

Thank you for your continued attention to this important issue.

Tricia Thompson, MS, RD

Founder, Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC

Photos to attach to your emails:

Sweet Bourbon Crunchers Pretzels sold through Beef Jerky Outlets. Reported to FDA via CAERS by Gluten Free Watchdog on February 25, 2020. Report acknowledged by CAERS on February 25, 2020. GFWD spoke to both the manufacturer and the distributor. Due to an error in the labeling process, this product includes a gluten-free claim. However, the pretzels contain wheat flour as confirmed by the manufacturer.

Nature’s Earthly Choice Lentil Trio: Reported to FDA via CAERS by Gluten Free Watchdog on March 3, 2020. Report acknowledged by CAERS on February 26, 2020. This product contains numerous errant grains. Test results suggest the grains are a mix of oat and wheat/barley.

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