Urgent safety warning as three popular ‘gluten-free’ treats found to contain…gluten

Campaigners have warned that some brands of brownies and cookies sold in US supermarkets could pose a safety risk to millions of Americans with a common digestive condition. 

An analysis of 46 popular gluten-free items found that three popular treats contained levels of gluten unsafe for people with celiac disease — an autoimmune condition in which the body overreacts to the protein.

The team behind the study, from campaign group Moms of America, has now submitted an urgent warning to the FDA about their findings. 

Products were also tested for pesticides that have been linked to cancer, with results showing 95 percent contained levels of the chemical that scientists deem unsafe.

A sample of this product was also found to exceed the level

Testing on the above products by campaign group Moms of America revealed both contained more gluten than the maximum limit set by the FDA for gluten free products

A woman pictured shopping for gluten free products (stock image)

A woman pictured shopping for gluten free products (stock image)

The three products with unsafe levels of gluten were Simple Mills Brownie Mix, Made Good Soft Baked Double Chocolate cookies and Simple Mills almond flour crackers.

All are sold in grocery stores across the country, including Target, Walmart and Whole Foods.  

The organization is now calling for a recall of the offending products.

Some 2million Americans suffer celiac disease — where gluten causes severe damage to the gut. 

Sufferers of the disease experience an extreme immune reaction after eating the protein, causing a host of symptoms including nutrient deficiencies, chronic diarrhea, nausea and agonizing pain. 

Many also experience extreme weight loss and, in severe cases, may need to undergo operations to repair damage to the colon.  

The main treatment for the condition is a strict gluten free diet. 

According to the FDA, it is safe for those with celiac disease to eat a microscopic amount of the protein, which is why many gluten-free products contain trace amounts.

However, a gluten-free product must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is equivalent to 20 milligrams (mg) per kilo, or roughly 1.7mg per cookie.

The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) has a lower and stricter threshold of 10ppm — or the equivalent of just 0.8mg per cookie.

The investigation found three more products exceeded these limits: Jovial spaghetti, GoMacro berry granola bar and Shar pretzels. 

In the testing, the organization also swabbed products for 237 pesticides.

This showed that glyphosate, the same one used in controversial weed-killer RoundUp, was the most common — with 44 out of 46 products testing positive.

Twenty-one percent of samples also tested positive for a higher level than the maximum permitted in the EU, of 10 parts per billion.

Dr Don Huber, a researcher at Purdue University in Indiana, said a level above 0.1 was harmful and should be avoided.

Group director Zen Honeycutt said: ‘We had hoped to find that gluten-free foods that were also organic would be free of glyphosate and pesticides. They were not.

‘The prevalence of glyphosate and agrochemicals in our food supply… is disturbing for many reasons. [But] this contamination is avoidable.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk