I have known, for quite some time, that there are products marked “gluten-free” on the shelves that do not meet the standards of the GFCO, and really should not be labeled as gluten-free at all. However, until now, I had not known any specific names of products (other than the Deland and Sami’s Bakery breads that used to claim they are gf but actually contain high levels of spelt).
Because of the enlightenment I have gained by reading the Chicago Tribune article (and a suggestion from Cynthia Kupper), I have decided to start a letter-writing campaign to Wellshire Farms.
Cynthia helped me create a sample letter to send to Wellshire Farms. You may change it to reflect your personal thoughts.
I would like to explain something to you. As many of you probably do, I feel betrayed by this company. I know that many people will want to write them off completely, and never buy their products again. But what I would like to see is a move forward, not backward. There are not many gluten-free chicken nuggets and corn dogs available on the market. For many people, Wellshire Farms is the only brand available to them. And we all want MORE options, not less.
That is why I decided to encourage the company to become involved with the GFCO, the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (and yes, that was my idea – Cynthia added the explanation bit). The GFCO has very high standards and rigorous testing policies. For example, when they went to La Tortilla Factory to see if they could be certified, the GFCO actually went into the air ducts and tested the walls and the vents for gluten. GFCO products are not just tested once, but all the time. You can read about the certification and testing processes on their FAQ page.
I want to move forward, and I want more options. And I want them to be SAFE.
So please join me in this campaign. Use this letter, change it to fit your family, or write your own. If you have a blog, please write about it and post a link here. If you have a support group, please share this information with them. If you are a grandparent of a child with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy, please send a letter, too. We want our voices to be heard.
I have included the sample letter in a Microsoft Word document, and an Adobe PDF version for those who do not have Microsoft Word.