Monday, March 15, 2010
Deceptive food labeling - finding the gluten
"Rapunzel", watercolor & ink, 8x10, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering
I tried a snack today that boldly proclaims its gluten-free status on the front and back of the package. It also listed 100% vegan, wheat free, dairy free and peanut free. Great! Something new to try that should be safe.
On further inspection, below the ingredients was the following statement: "may contain trace amounts of allergens not listed in the ingredients." Ah, the infamous 'should.'
Now what does that really mean? Which allergens? It may be safe, but it may not be safe, but they are absolved from any mis-labeling?
So they get to go with the labeling 'trends' but make no guarantee. A trace of peanuts or dairy won't bother me but could put someone else in the hospital. On the other hand a trace of gluten will cause me a great deal of problems. Tremendous problems.
To me this is food labeling at its worst. Just to sell their damn snacks they don't care who they make ill? Who's their market anyway? Certainly not anyone who can not eat those allergens. And why can't they say which allergens it may contain? Don't they know? Or do they know any given batch may contain traces of any or all and they just don't care?
Don't play games with me. I have worked damn hard to get all the gluten out of my world - and to get healthy again. Food labeling should be straight forward. People's health and lives are at stake. Whether or not I get a gluten reaction today I won't be buying this product line again on principal.