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North Carolina Protects Celiac Community from Poisoned Bread

January 22, 2010

North Carolina Protects Celiac Community from Poisoned Bread

Lawsuit Against Gluten-Free Bakery Backed By State Attorney General’s Office.

The North Carolina Attorney General’s office announced today that it is supporting a lawsuit filed against restraining order against the Paul Seelig, owner of Great Specialty Products, which manufactures gluten-free breads.

Gluten-Free Raleigh writes:

“The state of North Carolina is enforcing Gluten Free product claims/labeling (via fraud) when the FDA won’t. It’s great to know that our state is actively protecting its citizenry, especially Celiacs who are often left fighting for themselves at every turn.”

A lawsuit was filed against Seelig on Wednesday afternoon, following an N.C. Department of Agriculture investigation of Great Specialty Products. Many local customers reported having been contaminated after eating Great Specialty Products bread.

The Attorney General’s office is asking the judge hearing the Seelig lawsuit to close the company. Yesterday’s hearing will enforce a temporary restraining order against the company preventing them from selling gluten-free labeled products for at least 10 days.

Two members of the gluten-free community, Rebecca Fernandez, of Raleigh, and Fred Lybrand, of Chapel Hill, home tested samples of seven Great Specialty Products breads and found them positive for the gluten protein, which prompted the N.C. Department of Agriculture investigation. State agriculture officials sent samples from the same breads tested by Fernandez and Lybrand to a University of Nebraska lab, which determined that the breads tested did in fact contain gluten.

Whether the breads were made with wheat or exposed to the gluten protein through cross contamination could not be identified.

But according to NBC17:

Dan Ragan with the Department of Agriculture said after getting the bread tested, the levels of gluten were much too high to be simple contamination.

“Those results came back with 5,000 parts per million of gluten,” Ragan said.

Complete coverage of the lawsuit can be found on the News & Observer website.

NFCA’s GREAT Business Association seeks to promote quality, tested, SAFE gluten-free products. To learn more about our organization’s efforts to improve the gluten-free market and protect the celiac community, click here.


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