More on Oats from Gluten Free Watchdog: Retrospective database analysis 2011- 2023
Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, Amy Keller, MS, RDN, LD Summary Gluten Free Watchdog has been testing food for gluten through the ISO/IEC... read more
Brief history of oats & Gluten Free Watchdog’s evolving opinion
Last week Gluten Free Watchdog issued an updated statement on oats. As a reminder it reads: “In early January of 2022,... read more
Gluten Free Watchdog cannot recommend any brand of gluten-free oats
In early January of 2022, Gluten Free Watchdog issued a statement warning the community about supply chain issues with oats.... read more
Gluten Free Watchdog special 2023 statement on the use of oats in the gluten-free diet
In the latter half of 2022, four labeled gluten-free oat products from three manufacturers commissioned for testing by Gluten Free... read more
Gluten Free Watchdog recommends against the use of Trader Joe’s gluten-free oats
Gluten Free Watchdog recently commissioned testing of Trader Joe’s gluten-free rolled oats. One bag of oats (Best by Aug 18,... read more
Special Statement on Purity Protocol Gluten-Free Oats from Gluten Free Watchdog￼
Based on testing commissioned by Gluten Free Watchdog, we do not recommend the use GF Harvest brand oats as a... read more
Gluten Free Watchdog no longer recommends GF Harvest as a source of purity protocol oats
Update January, 4, 2023: Gluten Free Watchdog does not recommend GF Harvest as a source of gluten-free oats. Four bags... read more
Oat Beverages & Celiac Disease: Why We Are a Bit Concerned
Bottom line: If you drink oat-based beverages, please choose products you trust made using gluten-free oats. Gluten in liquids adds... read more
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... read more
Gluten Free Watchdog’s updated position statement on Cheerios
This position statement may not be reposted without the express written permission of Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC. ***Note: What follows is... read more
How do I know which products these statistics represent so I don’t buy them?
As mentioned in the post, brand names have been redacted. The story told by the data is less about the brands and more about gluten-free oats in general. Some testing data is available on the homepage for those who do not subscribe to Gluten Free Watchdog.
There multiple lines for the same item like granola and mix, etc. one is good the other isn’t; without the brand info this is not helpful at all.
As is stated at the bottom of the table, 30% of labeled gluten-free oat products tested through Gluten Free Watchdog in the recent past tested with quantifiable gluten >/= 5 parts per million. Products were tested at Bia Diagnostics, LLC using the sandwich R5 ELISA from R-Biopharm. Products were purchased in the US. Oats used in the products were sourced from within and outside the US, including Canada. Brand names have been redacted. The story told by the data is less about the brands and more about gluten-free oats in general. The last time the numbers were crunched (2018), 13% of all products tested through GFWD tested with quantifiable gluten >/= 5 parts per million. More testing and analysis of oats are needed. We have more work to do to help ensure the level of gluten cross contact in oats is as low as possible.
Some testing data is available on the homepage for those who do not subscribe to Gluten Free Watchdog.
I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that a product could be labeled gf if the gluten was /= 5 ppm?
In the US, products can be labeled gluten-free as long as they have a level of gluten below 20 ppm. This table includes products that have tested with quantifiable gluten at/above 5 ppm (the lowest level the assay can quantify gluten).
Can you help me understand why then these products would be a concern? Are they greater than 19ppm or just greater than 5? I am new to this and just trying to understand. We eat CGF oats from Bob’s redmill that says they test, currently asking our dietician as well if we should discontinue eating. My son is asymptomatic, so we only know from blood work if he is getting glutened, which we don’t do often of course.
Hi Amy, The actual part per million gluten levels are reported in the table. Among other issues, the trend line is concerning. We are in the process of assessing all of our oat testing data going back to 2011. For more information on oats, please see https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/brief-history-of-oats-gluten-free-watchdogs-evolving-opinion/
Thank you. I think I will need to still wait for the results then. I do understand that the trend is what is concerning, that is a jump for sure. However, as long as things are <20 ppm they are safe for celiac, so I think it's safe to assume if you are not having reactions or have not yet been presented with evidence that a certified product is not fulfilling it's certification, it might still be ok. As you said, each person needs to decide for themselves and along with their healthcare professionals. Thank you for your work on this and look forward to more updates on the topic.
To me, the most disconcerting are the products that are certified. Have you reached out to GFCO?
Yes. Please see safety alerts posted by GFCO at https://gfco.org/safety-alerts/.
Thank you for pursuing this Tricia. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Based on the findings, as I read them, oats should probably never be included on gf diet.
Not necessarily. What we are seeing is hopefully a relatively isolated issue related to the drought in 2021.
Hi Tricia, I was wondering if you can release the brands. I know you’re saying that the data speaks for oats as a whole but how will we know what brands to avoid if we aren’t given that information? Are you not able to because of legal issues?
For those who don’t subscribe to Gluten Free Watchdog, complete test reports for the most problematic products have been moved from the subscriber side of glutenfreewatchdog.org to the public side. Look on the left-hand side of the page under sample product reports.
How does the drought affect gluten content?
The drought appears to have impacted the amount of available gluten-free oats, including oats grown under a purity protocol.
Thank you for your work on this issue. We are currently playing the “fun” game of “What is poisoning our kid?”, after our son just had an endoscopy that came up positive for celiac damage…even though the house has been GF for almost 3 years and he has had good endoscopies in the past. I have a small list of things to throw out and oats will be the first to go, after reading this.
JS Check hand sanitizer & soap. We played the same game with my daughter, and it turned out to be the Bath & body works hand sanitizer. It contained wheat amino acids. She was so sad; such fun colors & scents.