Arsenic and Rice: Update for Gluten-Free Consumers

I first covered the issue of arsenic and rice in 2009 at the urging of a concerned consumer. That initial article can be accessed at The present article could not have been written without the helpful and generous email correspondence from arsenic researchers at Dartmouth College.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that is found in both organic (carbon-containing) and inorganic (non-carbon-containing) forms. It may be present in soil, water, and air. Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen and […]

Standards for testing food for gluten: Issues that need addressing

We all know that food labeled gluten-free should be tested for gluten. Some of us are familiar with the tests that should be used to assess gluten content. But most of us don’t know how tricky it actually is to test for gluten. This blog is meant to start a conversation by pointing out the lack of standards when it comes to gluten assessment.


There are a lot of “shoulds” when it comes to testing food for gluten. Unfortunately just […]

Interim Policy on Gluten Content Statements in the Labeling and Advertising of Wines, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages

On May 24th 2012 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) released an interim policy on the labeling of alcoholic beverages under its jurisdiction. The TTB regulates almost all alcoholic beverages. Exceptions include beer made without malted barley, wines containing less than 7% alcohol by volume, and hard ciders containing less than 7% alcohol by volume. The aforementioned beverages are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

In the past, the TTB has not allowed gluten-free claims on […]

Quinoa and Possible Barley Contamination

The Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC) recently posted an alert on their website concerning quinoa and its suitability for Passover This alert has implications beyond the Jewish community to include those with celiac disease. I had the pleasure of speaking with a Rabbi from the CRC to confirm this information.

For the past several years quinoa in general was considered suitable for Passover*. This is no longer the case. After thoroughly investigating the issue, several concerns have been raised by […]

Product Labeled Gluten-Free Contains Barley Malt Extract

Suzanne Simpson, dietitian at the Celiac Center at Columbia University recently alerted me to a product manufactured by The Gracious Gourmet that is labeled gluten-free but contains barley malt extract as an ingredient.

This product was NOT tested by Gluten Free Watchdog

Balsamic Four Onion Spread is labeled and advertised as gluten-free but according to the ingredients list on the product label and published online, it contains barley malt extract.


onions (yellow onion, leeks, shallots, red onion) sugar, balsamic vinegar, raisin, […]

Gluten Peptides in Human Breast Milk: Implications for Cow’s Milk?

Bottom line: A very small number of published studies report finding peptides in exceedingly small amounts (measured in parts per billion) in human breast milk. If dairy cows are fed wheat, barley, and rye grain (not a common occurrence from what I’ve been told) and if they have the same difficulty digesting (breaking down) gluten protein as humans, it is reasonable to wonder if gluten peptides may be found in cow’s milk too. However, based on testing, no significant […]

Health Day Article on Gluten-Free Beer

Over the Holidays you may have come across the Health Day article entitled, “Some Gluten-Free Beers Really Aren’t: Study.” This is an unfortunate title that has led to some confusion. The article is available at:

The study behind the article

Colgrave ML, Goswami H, Howitt CA, Tanner GJ. What is in a beer? Proteomic characterization and relative quantification of hordein (gluten) in beer. J Proteome Research. October 2011. The study is available at:

Study authors tested three types of beer: […]

Naturally Gluten-Free Grains and Gluten Contamination

We all know that if we eat oats they should be labeled gluten-free. We know this because it is well established that “regular” commercial oats are very likely contaminated with gluten. If you are interested in testing data it is available here.

What is less well established is whether other naturally gluten-free grains NOT labeled gluten-free like millet, sorghum, and buckwheat are likely contaminated too.

In 2010, Thomas Grace, Anne Lee and I published the study, “Gluten contamination of grains, seeds, […]