GFCO warns the gluten-free community about oat supply issues: Recommendations from Gluten Free Watchdog

GFCO warns the gluten-free community about oat supply issues: Recommendations from Gluten Free Watchdog

The Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is alerting the gluten-free community to supply chain issues that have made oats, including oats destined for gluten-free foods, more difficult to find. According to GFCO, farmers are planting less oats and droughts have led to grasshopper infestations and fires, further leading to crop shortages. GFCO is recommending that consumers who must eat gluten-free, choose only GFCO certified oat products during this time to help ensure a safe oat product.

GFCO reached out to GFWD prior to posting their article to explain the current oat situation. GFCO is in a unique position to provide information on the gluten-free oat market. At GFWD we greatly appreciate their transparency and willingness to raise legitimate concerns about the safety of gluten-free oats.

During these unique times:

  • It is the recommendation of GFWD that folks with celiac disease or another gluten-related disorder, avoid gluten-free products containing oats not certified as gluten-free.
  • Until such time that GFWD hears from other certifying organizations about the steps they are taking to ensure the products they certify are using quality gluten-free oats, it is the recommendation of GFWD, that it is best to choose products containing oats that are certified by GFCO.
  • It remains the position of GFWD that single ingredient oat products should be made solely from purity protocol oats.
  • Please check your favorite brands of purity protocol oats to ensure that they continue to carry the GFCO certification mark. GFCO stated in their post, “There is also the possibility that a GFCO-certified gluten-free oat product you have used in the past may temporarily be required to remove its GFCO-certification mark.”  
  • GFWD will be increasing testing of gluten-free products containing oats.

The article by GFCO is available at https://gluten.org/2022/01/31/the-shortage-of-gluten-free-oats/

Please reach out to GFCO with any questions related to the information in their post.

If you have any questions related to GFWD’s position on oats, please reach out to Tricia at info@glutenfreewatchdog.org.

Personal note from Tricia: I will continue to use GFCO-certified purity protocol oats. I recently made a batch of no-bake cookies, and they are oh so good!

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Comments (4)

  • Cee
    Reply

    Hi Trisha,

    I am sad to hear about the oats, I just started eating them. 🙁

    Thank you for letting everyone know.

    This was sent in a newsletter that I get every month. I thought you and others might be interested in reading it.

    Here is the main site which is an awesome in and of itself
    https://reasonstobecheerful.world/

    Here is the article
    https://reasonstobecheerful.world/wheat-pulp-paper-washington-columbia/

    In WA State, there is a startup that has developed a process for converting the zillions of tons of leftover straw from the wheat fields (WA is the 4th largest wheat producer in the country) into a tree-free pulp that can be used to make paper products.

    Can paper product made from wheat straw have gluten in it? Do we need to worry?

    February 1, 2022 at 5:48 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Thank you for this information. Hmm. If you find any information about who is using wheat straw pulp and also barley waste, please let me know.

      February 3, 2022 at 6:23 pm
  • Wolfie Reply

    Hello,
    I’m new to Gluten Free Watch Dog and I have Celiac Disease. I was excited to find this organization.

    It’s good to know there may be oat issues. I eat a lot of oats!

    I’m sorry but this article sounds like you are implying GFCO the only organization who can truly certify the oats I eat? Are you connected to GFCO? For example, are you saying the “National Celiac Association” may get it wrong?

    I cannot control how many orgs are doing certification but I do know this. If it’s not gluten free – I will know right away.

    February 1, 2022 at 12:49 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Thanks for reaching out. Generally speaking we do NOT endorse certified products over non certified products OR one specific certification organization over another. The other certifying organizations include GFCP (endorsed by Beyond Celiac and the Canadian Celiac Association) and GFFP (endorsed by the National Celiac Association). Gluten Free Watchdog is not affiliated with any of the national organizations although we work closely with all of them on various projects. As stated in the post,
      during these unique times, it is the recommendation of GFWD that folks with celiac disease or another gluten-related disorder, avoid gluten-free products containing oats not certified as gluten-free. Until such time that GFWD hears from other certifying organizations about the steps they are taking to ensure the products they certify are using quality gluten-free oats, it is the recommendation of GFWD, that it is best to choose products containing oats that are certified by GFCO. Why this recommendation? Because GFCO reached out to GFWD and was very transparent about the supply chain issues the manufacturers they certify are experiencing and the steps GFCO is taking to ensure that oat products continue to meet their standards. We welcome and encourage GFCP and GFFP to reach out as well to discuss the steps they are taking to ensure the manufacturers they certify are continuing to use quality gluten-free oats. I (Tricia Thompson) have been researching (and publishing on) oats since 1997. The supply chain issues have me quite concerned.

      February 3, 2022 at 6:39 pm

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