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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Back to Campus, Gluten-Free
Grease 2 is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's campy, it's silly, and best of all it has some really fun (and funny) songs. My sister and I can sing every song from Grease 2 by heart and find ourselves quoting from the movie at the most random times. This song seems appropriate given the time of year.

In 2011, I put together a great series of posts about being gluten-free in college. Two years later, so many of the tips still apply. As students are back in their dorms on their college campuses this week, I thought it would be fun to revisit those links.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

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Friday, August 16, 2013
2013 Research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
Over the past year, the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University has contributed to a number of peer-reviewed, medical publications. Here are the 2013 publications so far:

  • Use of shape-from-shading to estimate three-dimensional architecture in the small intestinal lumen of celiac and control patients Download publication
  • Implementation of a polling protocol for predicting celiac disease in videocapsule analysis Download publication
  • Prevalence of gluten-free diet adherence among individuals without celiac disease in the USA: results from the Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2010 Download publication
  • Men with celiac disease are shorter than their peers in the general population Download publication
  • Is dietitian use associated with celiac disease outcomes? Download publication
  • Celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes: Screening and diagnostic practices Download publication
  • Villous atrophy and negative celiac serology: a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma Download publication
  • Markers of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in children with autism Download publication
  • Serologic markers of Lyme disease in children with autism Download publication
  • Increased IFNα activity and differential antibody response in patients with a history of Lyme disease and persistent cognitive deficits Download publication
  • Vitamin D status and concomitant autoimmunity in celiac disease Download publication
  • Detection of villous atrophy using endoscopic images for the diagnosis of celiac disease Download publication
  • Immunohistochemical and T-Cell receptor gene rearrangement analyses as predictors of morbidity and mortality in refractory celiac disease Download publication
  • Does celiac disease influence survival in lymphoproliferative malignancy Download publication
  • Letter – complications of coeliac disease despite a gluten-free diet Download publication
  • Risk of lymphoproliferative malignancy in celiac patients with a family history of lymphoproliferative malignancy Download publication
  • Prior endoscopy in patients with newly diagnosed celiac disease – A Missed Opportunity Download publication
  • Commentary – larazotide acetate – an exciting new development for coeliac patients Download publication
  • Probiotic therapy for celiac disease Download publication
  • Risk of thyroid cancer in a nationwide cohort of patients with biopsy-Verified Celiac Disease Download publication
  • Mucosal healing and mortality in coeliac disease Download publication
  • Season of birth in a nationwide cohort of coeliac disease patients Download publication
  • Larazotide acetate in patients with coeliac disease undergoing a gluten challenge – a randomised placebo controlled study Download publication
  • Prevalence of migraine in patients with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease Download publication
  • Should intussusception in children prompt screening for celiac disease Download publication

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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Gluten-Free at P.F. Chang's
Living in New York City, I am spoiled with the number of amazing gluten-free friendly restaurants I can choose from for any meal, day or night. I realize this is not the case for many people eating gluten-free across the country. I normally shy away from large chain restaurants because often you cannot get the personalized attention you need as a gluten-free diner. On the flip side, many of my readers enjoy dining at select gluten-free friendly chain restaurants since that is the only choice available in their area. P.F. Chang's is one of these restaurants. P.F. Chang's has a gluten-free menu and they serve all gluten-free dishes on a special plate to differentiate from other gluten-filled meals.

The nearest P.F. Chang's is about 25 miles away from my apartment and since I don't have a car, it is not easy for me to get there. I did take my celiac sister to P.F. Chang's for her 30th birthday a few years ago, but I haven't been back to that location since then. I did, however, have the opportunity to recently dine at P.F. Chang's in Portland, Oregon and I was not disappointed. There are so many gluten-free menu items (click on gluten-free), I didn't know where to start. Actually, that's a lie. I did know EXACTLY where to start and that was with the amazing chicken lettuce wraps. These things are so good that I could eat them all the time. I continued to share a few more gluten-free dishes with a friend and by the end of the meal you had to roll us out of the restaurant, we were that stuffed!

For a limited time this summer, P.F. Chang's is serving a seasonal summer menu featuring six new dishes. I am heading back to Portland, Oregon next week and definitely plan on checking out the summer menu before it is too late. One of the dishes I am excited to try is the Summer Vegetable Quinoa "Fried Rice" which is exclusive to this summer menu. P.F. Chang's has graciously provided me a gift card for this dining experience and I am excited to use it. Thanks P.F. Chang's!

Do you eat at P.F. Chang's? What is your favorite gluten-free menu item?

Financial compensation was not received for this post. A gift card was gifted from the company. Opinions expressed here are my own. 

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The 2nd Annual Food Allergy Conference for Restaurateurs
Attention all restaurant owners, chefs, and managers, this is an event for you! AllergyEats is hosting their 2nd Annual Food Allergy Conference for Restaurateurs in Boston on November 5, 2013. Whether you are an allergy-aware restaurant or you want to learn more about feeding your clientele, this is an extremely informative event. Please see the press release below for more information including guest speakers and how to register.

AllergyEats Presents The 2nd Annual Food Allergy Conference for Restaurateurs:
What Every Restaurant Should Know About Food Allergies
To Ensure Safety & Maximize Customer Engagement, Loyalty, and Revenue

Boston, MA - AllergyEats, the leading guide to allergy-friendly restaurants nationwide, presents The 2nd Annual Food Allergy Conference for Restaurateurs: What Every Restaurant Should Know About Food Allergies To Ensure Safety & Maximize Customer Engagement, Loyalty, and Revenue.  This is a must-attend event for restaurant chefs, owners and managers, as well as food service operators that strive to become more knowledgeable and accommodating about food allergies - and reduce any fear about serving food-allergic guests. 

This timely, relevant event will feature notable speakers from the National Restaurant Association, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Blue Ginger, Burton's Grill, MenuTrinfo, Kids With Food Allergies Foundation and AllergyEats, as well as prominent allergists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital, who will provide valuable information about accommodating food-allergic guests, reducing the fear around food allergies, building customer loyalty and profits, and other related food allergy issues.

"The event features notable restaurateurs that excel at accommodating food allergies, who will provide actionable tips to make restaurants safer for food-allergic guests.  Our speakers will discuss protocols they've implemented to improve communication, avoid cross-contamination, identify special allergen-free meals, and better accommodate guests with dietary restrictions, as well as the benefits they’ve experienced by being allergy-friendly," said Paul Antico, Founder and CEO of AllergyEats, father of three food-allergic children and passionate food allergy advocate.

"The conference also offers valuable advice from professional industry trainers, who discuss the importance - and process - of implementing effective food allergy protocols, procedures and training in restaurants.  Other speakers include physicians describing the basics of food allergies and a financial professional explaining how restaurants can significantly increase their profits, customers and loyalty by becoming more allergy-friendly," Antico continued. 

Speakers will include:
  • Ming Tsai, James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Owner of Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon, Television Host, Cookbook Author, Food Allergy Advocate
  • Mike Moomjian, Director, Quality Assurance & Food Safety at P.F. Chang's China Bistro
  • Kevin Harron, Founder, President and CEO, Burtons Grill
  • William L. Weichelt, Director, ServSafe for the National Restaurant Association
  • Paul Antico, Founder/CEO of AllergyEats, food allergy advocate, father of three food-allergic children
  • Betsy Craig, Founder/CEO, MenuTrinfo
  • Lynda Mitchell, President, Kids With Food Allergies Foundation
  • Dr. Wayne Shreffler, Head of the Food Allergy Center at Mass General Hospital
  • Dr. Michael Pistiner, Pediatric Allergist for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Voluntary Instructor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital
  • ...and more
Topics will include:
  • Food Allergy Basics - This session will spotlight fundamentals, statistics, and the realities of accommodating food-allergic and food-intolerant guests. It will also showcase how food-allergic individuals deal with everyday life, and what they look for in a restaurant when dining out. 
  • Restaurants That Get it Right - Expert restaurateurs who excel at accommodating food-allergic guests will spotlight their restaurants' best practices, as well as their successful food allergy procedures and protocols.  They'll explain why they're committed to being allergy-friendly and describe guests' reactions, including their increased loyalty.
  • Basic Training - Top restaurant trainers who specialize in food allergies and other special dietary requirements will speak about the process of becoming more allergy-friendly.  This session will discuss how restaurants can become more accommodating, improve safety and minimize risks, implement and execute food allergy protocols and become more confident in their food allergy procedures.
  • The Financials Around Food Allergies - This session will explore the economics of accommodating food-allergic diners, including the increased loyalty and profit opportunities, demonstrating how restaurants can make significantly more money by becoming allergy-friendly. 

Attendees will enjoy lunch with the experts and have ample time for Q&A during each session.  They can also sample vendors' allergy-friendly products at the event.

Advanced registration is required.  Registration is $199 per person. Group discounts are available.  To register and for more information, please visit

"Attendees at last year's conference raved about the high caliber of speakers and the constructive information they learned from our experts," Antico added.  "The feedback we received last year was overwhelmingly positive and we're looking forward to another informative and successful conference this fall."

About AllergyEats

AllergyEats, a free, peer-based website and smartphone app, is dramatically improving the way food-allergic and gluten intolerant individuals find - and rate - allergy-friendly restaurants.  The easy-to-use ratings and comment system allows food-allergic diners to instantly share their feedback about their restaurant experiences.  This peer-based ratings and review site lets people see at-a-glance which restaurants have been more willing and better able to accommodate special dietary requirements, allowing food-allergic diners to make more informed choices about where to dine.

AllergyEats lists more than 600,000 restaurants nationwide, which food allergic diners can rate.  The site also offers information on restaurants' menus, certifications, web links, directions and more.   The site, app and related social media forums help families with food allergies reduce the guesswork - and the anxiety - surrounding dining out with food allergies. 

Most restaurant review sites include information about establishments’ food, ambiance or service, but AllergyEats is singularly focused on food allergies, with peer reviews spotlighting where people with food allergies or intolerances have more comfortably eaten. 

AllergyEats has been endorsed by highly-respected food, health and allergy organizations and individuals, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Gluten Intolerance Group, Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Chef Ming Tsai, Chef Joel Schaefer and more.   AllergyEats was selected as the 2012 Readers' Choice Award winner for best Food Allergy App.  The AllergyEats smartphone app also won a Web Health Award and was honored as one of Healthline’s Top Ten Food Allergy Apps.  For more information, please visit

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Monday, August 12, 2013
New Gluten-Free Cookbook Review and Giveaway
Last month, I was sent a free copy of You Still Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free!: 200 More Delicious, Foolproof Recipes You and Your Whole Family Will Love by Roben Ryberg. Roben is the author of five gluten-free cookbooks and one of her goals is "how to make gluten-free food taste great."

The new cookbook has a foreword by Dr. Peter Green of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University which gives an overview of gluten and Celiac Disease. The cookbook also  includes recipes for appetizers, breads, muffins, soups, entrees, vegetables and tons of cake recipes.

I admittedly am not a baker, so many of the recipes for breads, muffins, and cakes were too complicated for me. I prefer the entree and side dish recipes which were much less complex and required fewer ingredients. I really want to try making the Sofrito Pork Chops (page 143) with a side of Plantain Fries (page 23) for dinner one night soon.

Giveaway: You can win you very own copy of Roben's new book by leaving a comment with your email address below. Additional entries available by following me on Facebook and Twitter using the Rafflecopter entry below. A winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, August 16th at 1pm EST!

Financial compensation was not received for this post. A sample book was gifted from the company. Opinions expressed here are my own. 

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Friday, August 9, 2013
Gluten-Free at Summer Streets NYC
Three Saturdays a summer, New York City becomes even more awesome than normal. Summer Streets closes down Park Avenue from 72nd Street all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge. For those of you unfamiliar with NYC, this is a HUGE deal. This is nearly 7 miles of no cars. No honking horns, no crazy taxi drivers, no buses spewing their fumes. These 6.9 miles are pedestrian, biker, roller blader, and skateboard bliss. This is honestly one of my favorite events of the year and each year this gets better.

What made the 2013 Summer Streets kick-off so great this year? Certainly not the weather. (I donned my bright yellow poncho to avoid the rain!) It was the abundance of gluten-free options at the Whole Foods Market City Picnic at the Midtown rest stop at 25th Street and Park Ave. This year, there were at least five companies giving out gluten-free samples. This is practically unheard of at public events. Usually you can only get this many gluten-free samples at a gluten-free vendor fair.

Thanks to Whole Foods NYC and Summer Streets for hosting the event. And a special thanks to the gluten-free vendors including Udi's Gluten-Free, Applegate Farms (Udi's gluten-free buns with the hotdogs would have been a nice bonus!, Garden Lites, Honest Tea, CalNaturale Svelte, Organic Valley, Cabot Cheese, SweetLeaf Iced Teas, and Nature's Path. (I know I am missing a few, but I can't remember who?!)

Weather permitting, I will be at Summer Streets again tomorrow.
Will I see you there?! Come find me!


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Food Labeling: Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods
It's official. The US Government has released the Federal Register for the gluten-free labeling regulations. You can find the entire document here.

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is issuing a final rule to define the term ‘‘gluten- free’’ for voluntary use in the labeling of foods. The final rule defines the term ‘‘gluten-free’’ to mean that the food bearing the claim does not contain an ingredient that is a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat); an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or an ingredient that is derived from a gluten- containing grain and that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food (i.e., 20 milligrams (mg) or more gluten per kilogram (kg) of food); or inherently does not contain gluten; and that any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food is below 20 ppm gluten (i.e., below 20 mg gluten per kg of food). A food that bears the claim ‘‘no gluten,’’ ‘‘free of gluten,’’ or ‘‘without gluten’’ in its labeling and fails to meet the requirements for a ‘‘gluten-free’’ claim will be deemed to be misbranded. In addition, a food whose labeling includes the term ‘‘wheat’’ in the ingredient list or in a separate ‘‘Contains wheat’’ statement as required by a section of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) and also bears the claim ‘‘gluten-free’’ will be deemed to be misbranded unless its labeling also bears additional language clarifying that the wheat has been processed to allow the food to meet FDA requirements for a ‘‘gluten-free’’ claim. Establishing a definition of the term ‘‘gluten-free’’ and uniform conditions for its use in food labeling will help ensure that individuals with celiac disease are not misled and are provided with truthful and accurate information with respect to foods so labeled. We are issuing the final rule under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA).

DATES: Effective date: The final rule becomes effective on September 4, 2013. Compliance date: The compliance date of this final rule is August 5, 2014. See section II.B.4 (comment 35 and response 35) for an additional explanation of the compliance date and implementation of this final rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Felicia B. Billingslea, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS– 820), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240–402–2371, FAX: 301– 436–2636, email: GlutenFreeFinalRule


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Tuesday, August 6, 2013
New Gluten-Free Dinners from Amy's and Giveaway
At Food Fete in July, I met with a representative of Amy's and learned about their new gluten-free product offerings. I was excited to try gluten-free biscotti and gluten-free/dairy-free ice cream at Food Fete which will both be out in the supermarket this fall. Today I am excited to announce brand-new, ready-made meals added to Amy's gluten-free product line this year. See below for not one, but FIVE, new meals. I haven't tried any of these meals yet but if you have, I would love to hear what you think!

* The Amy’s story began in 1988 with its very first item, the famous Vegetable Pot Pie. Now, be one of the first to try the new Amy’s Gluten Free Vegetable Pot Pie. Filled with fresh organic carrots, peas, potatoes and tofu in the same delicately seasoned sauce and baked in a light and flaky gluten free crust. (SRP $3.69/7.5 oz)

* Amy’s Thai Red Curry: Amy’s dad’s favorite. Made with organic vegetables and tofu, plus sweet butternut squash, all in an authentic coconut milk based curry sauce, on a bed of fragrant jasmine rice. Vegan, Gluten free (SRP $5.29/10 oz)

Amy’s Light & Lean Quinoa & Black Beans with Butternut Squash & Chard: With organic black beans, quinoa (a gluten free whole grain), Swiss chard and butternut squash, this is a satisfying, delicious meal. Vegan, Gluten free.
(SRP $5.29/8 oz)

Amy’s Light & Lean Mattar Paneer: Tender organic peas and Indian cheese in a delicate, authentically spiced sauce, is paired with basmati rice and a delightful blend of lentils and beans. (SRP $5.29/8 oz) Gluten free.

Amy’s Gluten Free Brownies: Who can resist a chocolate brownie, especially one with a rich fudgy center, and a scrumptious crumbly crust? Amy’s brownies come uncut in a handy tray, so you can divide them into any size portion you wish. Find them in the freezer section with other frozen desserts. They’re made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa. Gluten free (SRP $5.49/7 oz tray, about 5 servings)

Giveaway: I am giving away 3 coupons and an Amy's totebag to one of my readers. Leave a comment below, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or all three. It's up to you! Thank you all for entering. I will pick a winner on Friday! Don't forget if you leave a comment to add your email address so I can contact you!

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Monday, August 5, 2013
New York State Celiac Awareness Legislative Package
I was contacted by the legislative director to Senator Kevin Parker in New York State about Celiac Disease awareness. Senator Parker is looking for letters of support for these bills to be passed in New York State.

According to Senator Parker's Chief of Staff:
"Senator Parker was acquainted with the challenge of celiac disease both from a personal acquaintance, and by the fact that several staff members of the Senate suffer from the disorder.

His first act in beginning to address this scourge was to draft a bill to try to raise awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity/intolerance by creating an education program in the schools. Soon after that, he put forward a resolution in 2010 requesting the Governor to proclaim May of 2010 Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

As you know, both of those actions were the first legislative activity in New York on the issue of celiac disease. Unsurprisingly, after those actions, Senator Parker heard from a broad spectrum of the celiac advocate community, which is how he determined to draft more legislation aimed at more facets of this widespread problem."

These are hugely important pieces of legislation for those of us living with Celiac Disease. I encourage all of my New York readers to support these pieces of legislation today. I have included links to sample letters below the legislation.

Please contact Ricja Rice if you have any questions at 518-455-2573 or

1. S3199 PARKER Same as A 2574 Ortiz (MS) Requires the commissioner of health to establish means of educating proprietors and employees of public eating establishments about food allergens.

2. S3087 PARKER Establishes the New York state celiac disease awareness and research fund; provides for education on celiac disease awareness.

3. S3094 PARKER Relates to requiring the notice of gluten content in foods being served in state owned, operated or leased cafeterias and all cafeterias operated by the state university of New York.

4. S4283 PARKER Requires gluten cross-contamination safeguards in food establishments owned, operated or leased by any department or agency of the state.

You can download a draft memo in support of Celiac legislation in New York State here.

Don't delay. Support NYS Celiac legislation today! Email, fax, or regular mail are just fine! 

Please send all of your memos to:

Ricja D. Rice, Esq.
Legislative Director
State Senator Kevin Parker
604 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
T.  518.455.2580
F.  518.426.6843

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Friday, August 2, 2013
BREAKING NEWS: FDA Defines “Gluten-Free” for Food Labeling
There is HUGE news for our gluten-free community today. After a 9-year discussion, the FDA has finally define gluten-free labeling regulations. This is a tremendous step forward for those of us living with Celiac Disease who require a gluten-free diet to survive. 

I have included the full text of the FDA press release below, as well as some links to major news outlets.

Official Press Release

FDA defines “gluten-free” for food labeling

New rule provides standard definition to protect the health of Americans with celiac disease 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published a new regulation defining the term "gluten-free" for voluntary food labeling.  This will provide a uniform standard definition to help the up to 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive condition that can be effectively managed only by eating a gluten free diet.

“Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health.” 

This new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry. It requires that, in order to use the term "gluten-free" on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.” 
The FDA recognizes that many foods currently labeled as “gluten-free” may be able to meet the new federal definition already. Food manufacturers will have a year after the rule is published to bring their labels into compliance with the new requirements.

“We encourage the food industry to come into compliance with the new definition as soon as possible and help us make it as easy as possible for people with celiac disease to identify foods that meet the federal definition of ‘gluten-free’” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.

The term "gluten" refers to proteins that occur naturally in wheat, rye, barley and cross-bred hybrids of these grains.  In people with celiac disease, foods that contain gluten trigger production of antibodies that attack and damage the lining of the small intestine. Such damage limits the ability of celiac disease patients to absorb nutrients and puts them at risk of other very serious health problems, including nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, growth retardation, infertility, miscarriages, short stature, and intestinal cancers. 

The FDA was directed to issue the new regulation by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which directed FDA to set guidelines for the use of the term “gluten-free” to help people with celiac disease maintain a gluten-free diet.

The regulation was published today in the Federal Register.

For more information:
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013
Gluten-Free Fun in Grocery Headquarters
A few months ago, I was interviewed by Rachel Begun, MS, RDN, CDN for an article for Grocery Headquarters and their "Gluten-Free and Diabetes Friendly 2013 Handbook". Grocery Headquarters is "the leading monthly supermarket magazine, focusing on merchandising and marketing trends. Its goal is to help retailers maximize sales and profits."

I am excited to share the download with you today. You will need a PDF reader to see the whole article. Click here to download today!

Check out my shout-outs in the first column! 

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