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Saturday, February 27, 2010
Celiac Disease Foundation: 20th Anniversary Celebration
Annual Education Conference & Food Faire

Saturday, May 15, 2010
8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Los Angeles Downtown Marriott Hotel
333 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

**FEATURED SPEAKERS**

Peter H.R. Green, MD Director, Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University

Sheila Crowe, MD Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Virginia Health System and Researcher

Shelley Case, BSc, RD Registered Dietitian, author, speaker, and leading international nutrition expert on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet

Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, CDN Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Nutritionist, Director of Nutritional Services for Schär. Previously with Columbia at the Celiac Disease Center.

Frank Baldassare, “The Missing Ingredient

CDF 20th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
Saturday night, May 15, 2010
6:00 pm

Dinner not included in Conference Registration. Reserve your seat today!

Also featuring

“Ask The Dieticians” – One on One with Registered Dieticians
Presentation of 2010 Champion of Celiac Disease Awareness Award
Continental gluten-free breakfast and lunch
GF Goodie Bag with each registration
Gluten-free food demos
CDF Connections & Chapters – meet local support group leaders
Gluten-free pizza and beer tasting
Book signing with Dr. Green & Dr. Crowe
Over 50 vendor displays including gluten-free food samples and sales
Fundraising raffle

REGISTRATION INFORMATION
The focus of the CDF 2010 Annual Education Conference is to develop a greater awareness of Celiac Disease, associated conditions, dietary compliance and how family members are affected. Join us as we celebrate 20 years of generating awareness and support.

CDF MEMBERS
In celebration of our 20th Anniversary, CDF is offering a special discounted registration rate to CDF members who register with a family member or friend before April 12th.

Register before April 12th with a family member or friend at the discounted rate of only $80 each. (This is a $15 discount per CDF member registration fee of $95).
Individual CDF member registration - $95

This discounted rate is only good until April 12th.

Youth (under 14 years) $50

NON- CDF MEMBERS
Registration - Before April 12th - $120 – After April 12th - $140

Note** - If you become a CDF member for the annual fee of $35 per family, you will save $25 on a single conference registration, even more if you bring a family member or friend!

Registration for ALL -- AFTER APRIL 12th

All registrations after April 12th -- $140.
Walk-ins the day of the conference -- $140.

Parking at the Los Angeles Downtown Marriott included with registration.

NOTE**: there will NOT be a supervised Children’s Program this year.

Don’t wait! Space is limited, register now.

REGISTER NOW – click here


HOTEL INFORMATION
Staying overnight for the conference? Space is limited. Book NOW for special CDF rate!

Online room reservations at the Los Angeles Downtown Marriott are now just a click away! Simply click on the link below or cut and paste into your browser. You will be directed to the hotel’s reservation page with the code already entered in the appropriate field. All you need to do is enter your arrival date to begin the reservation process.

Reserve Your Room Now

Or call Reservations at 800-260-0227 and ask for special CDF conference rate

SPONSORSHIP/EXHIBITOR INFORMATION
For sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information contact: deborah@celiac.org

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Thursday, February 25, 2010
French Meadow Bakery Survey and Coupons
In order to better understand and serve your Gluten-Free lifestyle, French Meadow Bakery now has a customer survey up on their website. As a token of their thanks, they offering a $2 off coupon for French Meadow Gluten-Free retail products or 20% off your online order once you complete the survey. Check it out by visiting their home page at www.frenchmeadow.com

For those of you unfamliar with French Meadow Bakery, they offer a number of gluten-free products including:

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Gluten-Free Italian Rolls
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust 6-Pack
Gluten-Free Tortilla
Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust 2-Pack
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie
Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies

Here is their complete list of products.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Chef to Plate Campaign is Looking for Campaign Leaders
I participated in this campaign last year and it was a great success. I am looking forward to working with NYC restaurants again during the Chef to Plate Campaign


YOU ARE INVITED: Become a Campaign Leader for the Gluten Intolerance Group of NA in the “Chef to Plate ‐ Celebrating Restaurants Serving Up Gluten‐Free Awareness” international awareness campaign.

* Anyone can be a Campaign Leader
* You do not need to be part of a support group
* All materials will be provided

THE PURPOSE: The purpose of this campaign is to spread awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerances through the restaurants that currently provide gluten‐free offerings. It is not about the promotion of any specific restaurant program.

OUR SUCCESS IN 2009: This awareness campaign was a big success in 2009. Through our partnership with several organizations, we were able to help spread gluten‐free awareness throughout the gluten intolerant community. Our lists of restaurants with gluten free menus were posted on several websites. We sent out over 5000 pieces of literature to 196 restaurants, including several chains, all over the United States and into Canada. We estimate that we reached more than 1.625 million people!

WHAT RESTAURANTS: Any restaurant that offers a gluten‐free menu can get involved. This program is not about getting new restaurants involved in serving gluten‐free meals, but about working with those that already offer gluten‐free meals and bringing awareness of gluten intolerances to the community through these restaurants.

GET INVOLVED: As a Campaign Leader you will:
Get restaurants to agree to display information (provided) about gluten intolerances during May.
Share the news about this gluten‐free dining opportunity in your community! Your friends, family, acquaintances and the public. Press release templates will be supplied
We hope that you are as excited about this campaign as so many others are, and that you will want to be part of its success.

Sincerely,
Chef to Plate Campaign Coordinators:
Rebecca Powell, Campaign Manager
Channon Quinn, Director of Industry Programs
Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director


WANT MORE INFORMATION???? CLICK HERE: http://gluten.net/events.php

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
King Arthur Flour Launches Premium Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

I got an exciting press release about some new gluten-free baking mixes that are now available from King Arthur Flour. The baking mixes are so new, their website isn't even updated yet. I was a bit concerned about how the gluten-free flours were produced in a gluten environment, but I received a very prompt response from the company. I look forward to checking out the new gluten-free mixes from King Arthur Flour soon!

"Rather than blending and packaging the gluten-free mixes/flour here in Vermont, where we blend and package the rest of our mixes, we actually partner with a completely gluten- and allergen-free facility in the Midwest to ensure absolutely no possibility of cross-contamination with gluten. As noted in the release, the facility we work with is certified by the GFCO, so all products are tested to be less than 10 parts per million gluten (the FDA standard is less than 20 ppm) – and the mixes we’ve blended/packaged and tested have had no gluten. So we’re confident there’s very little chance of contamination!"


King Arthur Flour Launches Premium Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

America’s oldest flour company launches wheat-free mixes, ingredients and recipes

February 22, 2010 – Norwich, Vt. – King Arthur Flour has added a new category to its line of premium baking mixes and ingredients: gluten-free. Though the new products may seem a radical change for a company founded more than 200 years ago on wheat, they carry on the tradition of delicious, high-quality baking products on which King Arthur Flour has built its reputation.

“We wanted to create gluten-free mixes that would not only meet the same high standards we apply to all of our products in terms of flavor and texture, but also reflect the highest standards of gluten- and allergen-free certification,” says King Arthur Flour Marketing Director Tom Payne. “We’ve brought to bear our more than two centuries of experience in baking and recipe development, toiling in our test kitchen for over two years to combine the best gluten-free ingredients in novel ways that result in gluten-free baking mixes of superior quality, consistency and taste.”

King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free baking mixes are the only major brand to be third-party certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, with standards twice as stringent as those set by the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, they are produced in a dedicated allergen-free facility, guaranteed to be free of the top eight most common food allergens. They are also certified Kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council. Says Payne, “We’re sure customers will agree these are the very best gluten-free mixes on the market today.”

Available March 1 at kingarthurflour.com and soon at food retailers nationwide, King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free line includes GlutenFree Multi-Purpose Flour for scratch baking, along with seven convenience mixes: GlutenFree Bread, Pizza Crust, Cookie, Brownie, Chocolate Cake, Muffin, and Pancake mixes. Suggested retail prices range from $4.99 to $6.99. The new line is supported with recipes for gluten-free baking available at kingarthurflour.com, as well as several additional gluten-free ingredients.

King Arthur Flour is one of America’s best-selling flours, known by avid bakers for its consistent baking performance and lack of chemical additives. A variety of King Arthur’s unbleached flours and baking mixes is sold in supermarkets nationwide, with a complete selection of high-quality baking ingredients, mixes and tools available through King Arthur Flour – the Baker’s Catalogue and at kingarthurflour.com. America’s oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour’s fundamental mission is to be the highest-quality product, education and information resource for, and inspiration to, bakers worldwide. More information and a roundup of King Arthur Flour’s baking resources are available at kingarthurflour.com/flours. King Arthur Flour is a 100% employee-owned business.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010
Gluten-Free at Camp Westminster
Growing up, I always went to camp. First I was at day camp and then for seven summers I went to D.P.F. Nassau County 4-H Camp in Riverhead, NY. Those seven summers were honestly the best ones of my life. I loved the camp so much that I was a CIT, junior counselor, and senior counselor. The only reason I stopped going was because I had to go to college and start making some real money. We used to joke we got paid something ridiculous like $0.21 per hour! But the memories and friendships I made at camp were truly priceless. I was lucky enough to have a cook at camp that would help me out with my dietary needs. Thanks Maryanne! In retrospect, I am sure I could have done more but as I got older I simply learned a lot of eating things I did in my life could have been more careful. These days, it is amazing to me that there are camps that cater full weeks to gluten-free meals. Camp Westminster is one of those camps! Read more from Camp Westminster:


Did you enjoy summer camp as a child?
Have you been hoping your child would have the same opportunity to learn and grow in a summer camp environment?

This can be difficult, even impossible, if your child struggles with food related health problems. That is why Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake in Michigan (www.campwestminster.com) is offering camp opportunities for children who require special menus.

GFCF camp will be the week of June 20-26, 2010.

NEW THIS YEAR: A gluten free menu will be available, with advance registration, during any week of camp in 2010. If your child has other food issues, contact us to discuss accommodations. If you have food related camp questions, please contact Deanna at dkseng99 @ voyager.net or Pam Jann at pamelajann @ hotmail.com .

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Saturday, February 20, 2010
Employees now own Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods
Many of us on gluten-free diets know Bob's Red Mill gluten-free mixes and products. My favorite is the GF Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. A friend of mine recently let me know that Bob Moore, head of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, has passed his company over to his employees.

Employees now own Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods

Bob Moore turned 81 on Monday. To celebrate, he gave his company to his employees.

The long-time CEO of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods launched an employee stock-ownership program, effectively making Bob’s Red Mill a company owned by its 200-plus employees.

“It’s been my dream all along to turn this company over to the employees, and to make that dream a reality on my birthday is just the icing on the cake,” Moore said in a news release.

The announcement was made Monday during an all-company meeting at the Bob’s Red Mill headquarters in Milwaukie.

Moore said the shift to an ESOP won’t change the make-up of the company.

He and his wife, Charlee, founded the company in 1978, growing it into a successful provider of whole-grain food products. In the past decade, the company has averaged annual growth between 20 percent and 30 percent.

Chief Financial Officer John Wagner said that the ESOP will help recruit new talent while also setting up a succession plan once Moore — who remains active in daily operations — steps down.

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Friday, February 19, 2010
Gluten-Free Food Expo on 2/27/10 in FL
Saturday February 27, 2010
Noon - 4pm

Free Parking
Free Admission

So County Civic Center
16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach
between Linton & Clint Moore)

Sponsored by:
*Enjoy Life Brands
*Pamela's Products
*Cabot Creamery
*Bob's Red Mill
*Pam's Gluten Free Kitchen
*Lisanatti Foods
Plus, over 60 other Gluten Free companies will be exhibiting too

Hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation So. Florida Chapter

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Gluten-Free Chocolate Lava Cake
I first saw this recipe on Glutenfreeda's enewsletter last week as a suggestion for Valentine's day. It sounds delicious!! Now I have an excuse to go out and buy some ramekins to make these yummy mini cakes!

Ingredients

For centers:
2 oz. semi-sweet gf chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream

For cake:
Unsalted butter or gf non-stick cooking spray for ramekins
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup gf flour mix
Fresh strawberries for garnish
Directions

For centers:
Add chocolate and whipping cream to the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until all is melted and blended. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill. When chilled, scoop chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula and form into 6- 1" balls. Place balls in a small bowl and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray 6 ramekins with gf non-stick cooking spray.

Add 4 oz. chopped chocolate and butter to the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until melted and blended; remove from heat. Add eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla to a medium bowl and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until pale and thick. Fold melted chocolate and flour into egg mixture until all is blended. Spoon batter into ramekins. Place 1 chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin. Gently press ball to bottom of ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a small knife along the edge of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Top each lava cake with sliced strawberries. Serve immediately.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Gluten-Free Blogger of the Month at Triumph Dining
I have made many friends through the online community over the past few years through this blog as well as through the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group. One of my biggest supporters and online friends is Tiffany Janes, of Triumph Dining. Last week, I was thrilled to find out the Triumph Dining chose me to be their Gluten-Free Blogger of the Month!! Please visit the Triumph Dining site to read the article and my interview with Tiffany.

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Monday, February 15, 2010
Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes Up for Award
General Mills’ Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes Named a Finalist in the Edison Best New Product Awards

WEBWIRE – Friday, February 12, 2010

Today General Mills’ Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes was named a finalist in the 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards.

The Edison Awards, a peer-review honor similar to the Oscars, are voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group, which includes America’s top executives and academics. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison.

Betty Crocker was the first national brand to launch gluten-free brownie, cookie, and cake mixes in traditional grocery stores. This innovative line of products satisfied gluten-free consumers’ previously unmet desire to find great tasting, affordable and easy-to-prepare desserts that they can enjoy with their families and friends. Since the gluten in wheat flour provides the structure for traditional brownies, cookies and cakes, creating dessert mixes without gluten is a significant and remarkable technical achievement. Once the company successfully created a winning product, an insightful marketing campaign centered on social media drove both awareness and support for the launch.

The Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes is a finalist in the Consumer Packaged Goods – Food Segment, one of more than 10 categories in the Best New Product Awards.

“Innovation is more important now than ever,” said Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison and chair of the Edison Awards steering committee. “The finalists we announced today are the moving parts in the engine of economic growth. They inspire people to think outside the box and improve the lives of people around the world.”

The winners of this year’s Edison Best New Product Awards will be announced on April 29, 2010 during the 2010 Edison Awards Ceremony and New Product Showcase in New York.

The 2010 Edison Awards are sponsored by TV’s Discovery Channel, Google, The Nielsen Company, and Strategyn. The Edison Awards are also associated with The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey.

About Betty Crocker
Since her creation in 1921, Betty Crocker has been one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry. A brand associated with quality and trust, Betty Crocker and the red spoon symbol appear on more than 300 General Mills products including ready-to-spread frostings and mixes that make some of the country’s best cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins and other baked goods. As a pioneer in the dessert mix category, General Mills was one of the first companies to introduce layer cake mix in 1947; it did so under the Betty Crocker name. This started a revolution in baking, providing homemakers with a convenient, reliable way to replicate the quality and taste of “homemade” without the hassle.

About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. Visit GeneralMills.com.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Free Gluten-Free eCookbook - Limited Time Offer!
For a limited time, get a FREE electronic copy of the just-released Jules' Baker's Dozen e-Cookbook, with 13 of her most requested recipes! Simply click here and enter coupon code bakers1 (case sensitive).

Jules Gluten Free - Bakers Dozen e-Book

Expand your gluten-free repertoire with 13 of Jules' easiest, most delicious, no-compromise recipes: as determined by the requests she gets from people like you! There's even a 3-page section on making other ingredient substitutions, for those concerned with other food sensitivities or allergies.

Featuring stunning color photography, this 27 page e-cookbook features recipes your WHOLE family will love, including:

* Blueberry Muffins
* Biscuits
* Birthday Cake and Frostings
* Breadsticks/Dinner Rolls
* Brownies
* Chocolate Chip Cookies
* Pancakes
* Pizza
* Sandwich Bread and more...


This e-cookbook retails for $9.95, but is yours FREE between now and Feb-16. Downloading is simple, just click here and enter coupon code bakers1 (case sensitive).

Also, if you haven't yet tried their critically acclaimed all purpose flour, Jules is offering $5 off their Starter Kit (everything you need to start making delicious, gluten-free baked goods, including a 5-lb bag of their all purpose flour, the Baker's Dozen e-cookbook, and two additional e-books) when you order between now and Feb-16!

Jules Gluten Free (TM)

This is a $70 value that is regularly priced at $39.95, but is available for only $34.95 for a limited time. Click here to order today.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group Reaches 1000 Members!
I am very excited to announce that the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group has officially reached our 1,000th member. This is quite an accomplishment for the group which was founded in October 2003. I have been organizing events for the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group for almost 4 years now, so I am extremely proud of the growth and enthusiasm of our group. We have had over one hundred Meetup events all around the tri-state area. Our group has been mentioned on numerous blogs and we have even been visited by Meetup staff at our events. We are also the biggest celiac disease and gluten-free related Meetup group on the Meetup.com website with more than three times as many members as the next biggest group. This is all so exciting!

Thank you to all my readers and group members for all of your support over the past few years and for making the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group the best that there is out there! If you live in New York, please consider joining our group today!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010
"Love a Local Business": Three Dogs Gluten-Free Bakery
Three Dogs Gluten-Free Bakery is a completely gluten-free full-service bakery in Briarcliff Manor. They offer a wide range of goodies baked daily on the premises, including cookies, pastries, muffins, pies, savory breads, cheesecakes, seasonal favorites and custom-decorated cakes. Bar cookies are particular specialties with pina colada, chocolate-peanut butter and cardamom-lime bars receiving rave reviews in all taste tests. Custom-decorated cakes range from tiered wedding cakes to cakes for a child’s party featuring a favorite cartoon character. Many items are also dairy and/or soy free. They are located at 510 North State Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510. Their phone number is 914-762-2121.

Three Dogs Gluten-Free Bakery hopes to open another location in NYC in the future. To this end, Three Dogs Gluten-Free Bakery has entered the bakery in a grant contest sponsored by Intuit called "Love a Local Business." The grand prize is $35,000, which would be used to help with the start-up costs for the new bakery. The contest is partially based upon customer comments and how much you "love a local business." This link goes directly to the bakery's comment page for the grant: http://lovealocalbusiness.intuit.com/?b_id=11749

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Thursday, February 4, 2010
Gluten-Free KIND Bars at Starbucks on February 5th
On February 5th. Starbucks will sample KIND bars at all of their 7,000 stores across the country! Drop in to try one of the two delicious flavors selling at your local Starbucks: Fruit & Nut Delight and Cranberry Almond+Antioxidants. Click HERE to find a Starbucks near you.


http://kindsnacks.com/e/2010/newsletter-january.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2K1001

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The Gluten-Free Plot Thickens in North Carolina
Yesterday, I shared the article about the Great Specialty Bakery's closing after discovering gluten in "gluten-free" products. Today, I read at the NFCA website the owner is now facing criminal charges. Here's to North Carolina for taking this so seriously.

From the NFCA website:
2/3/2010

Faces Criminal Charges After Falsely Labeling Gluten-Free Products

North Carolina bakery owner Paul Selig is facing criminal charges after selling gluten-free food products that in fact, were not.

Seelig faces six counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, all felony charges. His company, Great Specialty Products, has been shut down.

For more information on the trial, click here and click here.

Writers for the Gluten-Free Raleigh Blog attended yesterday's hearing at the Wake County Courthouse, and have obtained the Preliminary Injunction documents. Click here to read.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
N.C. puts its weight behind gluten-free cause
Thanks to my friend Tom for sending me this article and kudos to North Carolina for being so vigilant.

N.C. puts its weight behind gluten-free cause

http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/314548.html

When state officials sought to shut down a Durham food company last month for marketing bread as gluten-free that tested positive for gluten, cheers went up across the country among those suffering from celiac disease.

"What North Carolina did enforcing gluten-free claims is say, 'We're going to take the health of North Carolinians seriously," said Alice Bast, executive director of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, a nonprofit based outside Philadelphia. "I have to applaud North Carolina."

Enforcement of gluten-free claims on food products is rare because federal officials have yet to define the term "gluten-free." The Federal Drug Administration was supposed to have a definition by 2008 but the process has dragged on. Without a government definition, those with celiac disease have to rely on food companies to be honest about the contents of their products, test the products regularly, and prevent cross-contamination.

"Without the FDA having their final ruling, companies can do whatever they want," says Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group, a company based in Washington state that certifies food companies' gluten-free claims.

Bast says food manufacturers may see gluten-free foods as a niche market where money can be made: On average, studies show, people pay between 79 percent and 242 percent more for gluten-free foods. But a gluten-free diet isn't a fad diet, Bast says; it is a necessity for people with a serious illness.

If someone with celiac disease, which affects about one in every 133 Americans, consumes gluten, the protein damages their small intestines, making them unable to absorb nutrients. The disease can lead to auto-immune disorders and an increased risk for certain cancers.

Bast and Kupper said the lack of a federally regulated definition for gluten-free leaves consumers with the disease in limbo. They have to research the company, ask about the facility where the product is made and find out whether wheat or other grains that contain gluten are processed in the same facility, which increases the chance of cross-contamination.

Because of weather, a hearing has been delayed in which the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was expected to ask a judge to shut down Great Specialty Products of Durham permanently. The lawsuit details complaints from three people who got sick from eating the bread or whose children got sick. The company's owner, Paul Seelig, denies any wrongdoing, saying if his company's bread had gluten in it, more than three people would have complained about getting sick.

The state agriculture department's food and drug protection division is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of food labels and claims. That's the division that investigated complaints against Great Specialty Products.

The unit vets between 300 and 500 complaints from consumers annually, ranging from roaches at a grocery store to finding what they think is a bone in their bag of peanut M&Ms, which actually happened last fall. The unit's 27 inspectors and four supervisors also regularly inspect about 5,000 grocery stores and food manufacturing facilities across the state.

Most complaints are resolved with the manufacturer's cooperation, says Anita MacMullan, food compliance supervisor. The lawsuit against Great Specialty Products is the first during MacMullan's 18 years as a department employee. "This truly is a unique course of action for us to take," she said.

One consumer who appreciates their efforts with regards to Great Specialty Products is Zach Becker of Knightdale, who writes a blog about living with celiac disease and eating a gluten-free diet.

"It's great that they are acting on our behalf," Becker said.

andrea.weigl@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4848

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Monday, February 1, 2010
Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Ideas from Pamela's Products
Valentine's Day, the most amorous day of the year, is just around the corner. No matter who we spend it with, everyone agrees that the day should be filled with decadent treats and delicious food that say 'I love you' or I appreciate you. Instead of a box of chocolates, you could do something more personal, like baking something over-the-top for your sweetheart? But what if you or your sweetie is Celiac or simply chooses to eat a gluten-free diet?

Pamela's Products was created 21 years ago on the idea that no one has to be left out of the celebration and that gluten-free can taste as good as OR BETTER than the wheat alternative. Featuring an award-winning line of GLUTEN-FREE and delectable ready-made desserts and baking mixes, Pamela's Products is perfect for sharing with all our loved ones.

For the chocolate lover in your life, we suggest wowing them with a moist delicious and flavorful frosted Cake, Brownies or Chocolate-chip cookies (all available and easy mixes).

OR if chocolate is not the flavor of choice for you or your loved one, Pamela's Products offers Vanilla cake mixes, shortbreads and biscotti that are sure to tantalize and satisfy anyone's sweet tooth without excluding those that adhere to a gluten-free diet. Fun for Valentine's Day, the moist and fluffy cake and cookie mixes can be easily cut into heart-shaped baked treats. Red or Pink natural food coloring can be added to frosting mixes to make your dessert fun and festive.

The versatility of the mixes allows for the more adventurous cook to use them as their launching pad for a more elaborate and uniquely individual dish. Pamela's Products website (www.pamelasproducts.com) is full of tried and true recipes that are simple to make. Valentine's Day Recipe ideas and tips for Breakfast, Brunch and Dessert include:

** Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

** Cranberry Orange Scones

** Heart Shaped Waffles with Berries and Cream

** Valentine's Day Gingerbread House

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