Northeast Ohio Celiac Network

International Celiac Symposium: Prague, June 21-24, 2015

Four members of our steering committee will be representing our group in Prague, capitol of the Czech Republic, at the International Celiac Symposium. We wish Diane, MaryLou, Judy, and Anne safe traveling and hope they will share what they learned when they return! Much Good Luck!

Since the late 1960’s, researchers, physicians, and medical professionals worldwide have hosted an International Celiac Symposium, and have met to exchange their research. The interested countries were primarily the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries, and Italy. The USA hosted its first celiac symposium 30 years later in 2000. We have been “late to the game” but have caught up as hosts with the last symposium held in Chicago in 2013.

Who will be speaking from the USA?
Dr. Fasano (Boston), Dr. Guandalini and 3 colleagues (Chicago), Dr. Murray (Mayo Clinic), & Dr. Ben Lebwohl (NY) will speak, representing American celiac research.

Why have a symposium?
“Coeliac disease, even more than 60 years after the invention of jejunal biopsy and decades after the discovery of the sensitive serologic tests, remains very often undiagnosed, underestimated and poorly understood. The issue is becoming even more obscure by a rapid change in clinical presentation. The typical picture of steatorrhea has often been replaced by hidden and confusing extra-intestinal manifestations. Questions will be raised and challenged by an exquisite spectrum of world renowned experts and young investigators. The meeting will uniquely reflect joint interests and needs of scientists, clinicians, patients, and nutritionists. It will also attract drug producers, health care providers and organizers because screening and diet promotion are important tools of the disease management. We believe that Prague as usual will provide a friendly and functional background to the congress with a unique and inspiring atmosphere.” –per ICDS organizers 2015

GF Rice Krispies Discontinued

Gluten Free blogs and websites are buzzing about GF Rice Krispies being discontinued. “The Savvy Celiac” confirmed with Kellogg’s that the cereal was being phased out because of manufacturing constraints. It wasn’t long ago that Kellogg’s GF Special K was introduced and has been selling well. The problem is you can’t make those kid lovin’ GF Rice Krispy Treats with Special K!! If you love them, you may want to buy them before they are gone.
See “The Savvy Celiac” story here.

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Cheerios Goes Gluten Free

cheerios gf

Back in 2010, General Mills changed one ingredient in their Chex cereal line. Switching from malt to molasses, GM launched Rice Chex as gluten free (GF). Its success prompted the release of six more flavors.

Beginning in July of 2015, five Cheerios products will have the same great taste but will be going gluten free: Original, Honey Nut, Apple Cinnamon, Frosted, and Multi-Grain Cheerios. While Chex is made from rice and corn, Cheerios is made from oats, which is a controversial grain in the gluten free community.

Oats are controversial because they are contaminated by wheat when they are processed or transported.

Those who have celiac disease (CD) and gluten sensitivity (GS) are advised to consume only certified gluten free oats. Even then, a percentage of those with CD and GS still react against any oats. (Even certified GF oats should be carefully introduced, especially into the diet of someone newly diagnosed).

Chex instant hot oatmeal, made from gluten free WHOLE oats, was launched in 2014. There is only a limited supply of GF oats. To launch Cheerios which require a large quantity to be made into OAT FLOUR, General Mills decided to mechanically filter regular oats to eliminate cross contamination, rendering them gluten free.

General Mills is aware of the gluten free FDA labeling guidelines and are testing to ensure the standard of less than 20ppm is met. They have a great reputation as a responsible company.

While the gluten free/celiac community applauds General Mills for producing another mainstream GF cereal which costs less than some GF cereals and is more widely available, some early questions have arisen:

1. Why not a third party certification?
2. It is understood that the mechanical filtering is a competitive secret, specially developed by GM at great cost. If they can’t reveal it, why can’t they release more on the type of testing done, as well as the quantity of testing done?
3. Why can’t they use gluten free oats, developing a demand?

Of all the 5 GF Cheerios, Multi-Grain will go through the biggest reformulation. Its wheat and barley ingredients will be replaced with sorghum and millet.

What do you think about the new GF Cheerios?
Please comment!

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