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What does "certified" gluten free mean to you? What does it mean to Post Foods Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles?

Posted Feb 09 2011 12:00am

Jules has posted an article on her blog which discusses the fact that Post Foods is claiming that their Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereal is "certified" gluten free without going through an independent certification process.

I encourage all of you to read the article at Post Foods Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles NOT Certified GF, Despite Corporate Declaration .   In a nutshell the article points out that:

Post Foods has issued a press release stating that Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles are "certified" gluten free.  The issue comes down to what it means to be "certified" gluten free.

Currently there are no federal regulations defining what certified GF means. 

Many  in the "gluten free community"  will only purchase processed food items that have been "certified" GF and would answer that "certified" GF means certified by an independent organization such as Gluten Free Certification Organization.   I personally feel much better eating food that has been certified  GF by the GFCO because I know that the food manufacturer has been held accountable to an outside agency.

When asked what "certified" means to Post they indicated:

Post followed a gluten free validation procedure that included certification from all ingredient suppliers, outside laboratory testing of all ingredients, testing the production line, and outside laboratory testing of the finished product.  In addition, Post has instituted process controls to ensure there is no cross-contact with gluten containing products.  We do not have third party verification symbols on the product boxes. 

As Jules points out, while it is great that Post went through this process, without a federal standard or independent third party certification, what checks are present to hold Post to this standard - will they do regularly testing?  what if a batch comes through that does not meet the GF standard, will they toss it out or pass it along to the consumers?  

What do you think?  

What does "certified" GF mean to you?  

Would you purchase from Post knowing they are self-certifying without any outside-imposed controls?  

For us, this is the same issue we face every time we buy a bag of Lays potato chips or eat a Bob's Candy Cane.  Granted, these companies are not using the words "certified" as part of their marketing campaign, but every time we eat these items we take the risk that we will get gluten.  And while we try to only eat food that is made by us or certified  GF by groups such as GFCO, we are only human, and we are a family of five, including three kids who like to eat chips every so often.  

Will we eat Post Cereal - most likely No, for the same reason we don't drink Starbucks Coffee (which has been a really hard one for us) or eat products made by Snyder of Hanover .   We vote with our pocket books and I personally  do not like the feeling that Food Manufactures are trying to "trick" the gluten free community by using words such as "certified" to lure us into feeling that their products are safe for us, when in fact they may not be.   



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