topgfstories2013We had a lot of news happen in 2013…of course the gluten free diet trend was in full force, the FDA came out with its long overdue gluten free labeling rule, a second study showed arsenic in rice…but there were other stories out there too.

We want to hear from you:

Please take this quick gluten free news survey

We want to hear what you think the top story should be (see descriptions and links to articles for additional information on each story below).  Take these options  into consideration:

  1. Impact on the gluten free community
  2. Buzz-factor
  3. Making news beyond the gluten free community (mainstream newspapers, television news, internet)

If you need a recap, just read the summaries below.  If you don’t need a recap, then just take the 2-question survey.  If you don’t see your favorite story listed here, you can list it in the survey separately:

  • US Justice Department’s settlement with Lesley University.  Technically the settlement happened in late December 2012, but the announcement didn’t happen until early January.  The Justice Department said the school was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not allowing gluten-free students to “fully enjoy” the dining services by providing safe meals.  Click here to learn more about the settlement.
  • FDA’s findings in the Arsenic in Rice investigation. In September of 2012 Consumer Reports tested rice products for arsenic and found unhealthy levels in some — including gluten free marketed products.  So the FDA did its own investigation and revealed the results in September of 2013. It found that indeed brown rice overall had higher levels of arsenic.  The question remains, what does that mean for people who eat gluten free and often consume a lot of rice?  Find out more on this subject by clicking here. 
  • Celiac Sprue Association giving its Recognition Seal to Omission Beer.    This is a very recent story and may be fresh in your memory, but here is a quick recap.  Omission Beer is made with barley.  Barley is not a gluten-free grain.  Producers of Omission say they have a process that removes the offending gluten and makes it gluten free, testing below 20 ppm.  But the Feds still won’t let the company label it gluten free because it is made with barley…again which we can’t have.
    It came to many people’s surprise in November when a news release came out with this headline: “Celiac Sprue Association Recognizes Omission Beer As Risk-Free For Celiacs”.  Later, CSA’s executive director recanted the headline saying “risk free” was not a good choice of words.  Either way, the organization stands by giving Omission its seal.  Click here to read more on this subject. 

    Gluten Free Joke on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

    Gluten Free Joke on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

  • Gluten Free in the Media.  It started with Jimmy Fallon and a mild joke about Dunkin’ Donuts new gluten free donuts back on January 2nd.
    Then in May it escalated.  Disney’s Jessie season debut was pulled at the last second because of outrage over an episode depicting nerdy gluten free kid and ended with characters teasing him and throwing gluteny pancakes at him.  At the same time, Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in England (called Jamie’s Italian) made headlines when it paid out $12,000 to a gluten free customer who was mistakenly given gluteny noodles. Click here to learn more about Disney and Jamie Oliver’s gluten free gaffes.  Plus, click here to see how Disney resolved the Jessie issue.
    And finally, Jimmy Fallon put icing on the cake when his normally playful banter seemed much meaner this November.  He did a bit depicting a gluten free man promoting a gluten free cookbook.  Jimmy called the book and “guest” garbage, slammed the gluten free diet and threw a gluteny pie in his face.  Click here to see the bit and read the article.
  • FDA’s announcing the new voluntary gluten free labeling rule.  This was years overdue, but after a renewed effort in 2011, the FDA finally made its announcement of the new gluten free labeling rule on August 2nd, 2013. The rule goes into effect August 5, 2014.  At its most basic, the rule means any company that wants to label a product gluten free must make sure it tests at  below 20 ppm of gluten.  In November, the FDA updated part of it specifically for restaurants  Click here for information on the labeling rule.   If you are interested in the restaurant update information, click here. 

    The Gluten Free cookies are small, shortbread chocolate chip

    Gluten Free Girl Scout cookies

  • Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookie.  The Girl Scouts of America announced the first-ever gluten free girl scout cookie will be for sale during the 2014 cookie sales fundraiser in select markets.  Click here to learn more.
  • GlutenFreely.com shuts down. General Mills’  impact on the gluten free market fizzled a little when it closed down it’s website GlutenFreely.com in early 2013.  The website was part store and part gluten-free lifestyle resource. General Mills said they needed to make the change because so many gluten free products were widely available in stores now.  All of their gluten free recipes, resources are now on their livebetteramerica.com site.  Click here to find out more about this event.
  • International Celiac Disease Symposium comes to Chicago. At the end of September, 2013, the University of Chicago hosted the International Celiac Disease Symposium, which brings the best and the brightest in celiac and gluten sensitivity research together for a big event.  It was very educational when we learned more about FODMAPs, Refractory Celiac, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Myths and much, much more.  We don’t know when this symposium will come back to the US.  It will be in Prague, New Dehli and Paris through 2019.  Click here to learn more about this.
  • California Pizza Kitchen’s Gluten Free Comeback. You may recall CPK’s gluten free pizza went down in a blaze of glory in 2011 because they didn’t think through cross contamination.  Fast forward to 2013 and approval from the Gluten Intolerance Group, CPK is back with a much more thought-through gluten-free pizza and protocol.  They now use rice flour when prepping ALL of their doughs for baking, so wheat flour is not flying through the air.  They have separate utensils and prep areas as well.  You can learn more about CPK’s new gluten free pizza here.   

There you have it.  The big gluten free stories of 2013.  Click here to fill out the survey and tell us where you think these stories rank in importance.  The survey will close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 30.  I will post an article on Tuesday with the results!  Share the survey with your friends!

 

 

 

 

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