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False advertisement of Gluten free food


Does advertising always provide true information and guarantee safe products? Well,

majority of companies and manufactures use advertising so as to survive in an environment

characterized by enormous competition and to attract more customers. They promote their

products in a way that appeals to the customer. Such organizations use statements that assure

customers of the best ingredients and safety from any harmful ingredients. However, sometimes

such organization use advertising for their good without a precise examination of the content or

ingredients of their products. They use statements that attract a particular group of people who

have specific dietary requirements. Consequently, consumers of foods products have been

exposed to harmful products through such false advertisements. Companies assure them of safe

products yet in the real sense such products contain elements that are harmful to such group of

people with particular dietary specifications. The main aim of the companies is to make

maximum sales as much as they can, to counter competition and appeal the customers. As a

result, the health of the clients is jeopardized, and many of them are victims of diet-related

disorders. For instance, clients who live on a gluten-free diet have been significantly affected,

and their health jeopardized as a result of false advertisements. It is, therefore, necessary for the
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necessary authorities to actively come into the rescue of consumers since false advertisement of

Gluten free food is advancing to an extreme level and it has led to adverse effects to the

consumers such as the celiac disease. The North American Society for the Study of Celiac

Disease (NASSCD) in association with other organizations works hand in hand with the U.S.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to establish and ensure that a gluten-free standard is

available and adhered to by all companies and restaurants offering gluten-free products and


Mislabeling of products

Companies have often mislabeled their products. This has been one way in which

consumers have been exposed to false advertising. Despite the knowledge that such products

contain gluten elements, they are willing to claim that such products are safe for consumers

under gluten-free diet. The advertising strategiesare aimed to win more customers. Others use

disclaimers that suggest that their products contain minimal amounts of gluten to appeal their

customers selectively. For instance, Dominos pizza in 2012 announced that their pizza crust was

gluten-free (Marketing Weekly News 252). However, they went ahead to put a disclaimer that

the pizza was well suited for those with mild gluten sensitivity. This meant that it was

inappropriate for the people with celiac disease. The company openly stated that is hard to

guarantee a product completely free from gluten since their pizzas are handcrafted hence there is

a possibility of contamination with gluten elements (Marketing Weekly News 252). Based on

this case, the question as to what gluten-free means arises. A product should be either gluten free

or have gluten. It is worth noting that when people with celiac disease are exposed to gluten,

however, minute the amount, their health is extremely affected. Continued exposure may

eventually lead to grave medical complications and victims will live a miserable quality life.
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Following this mislabeling, the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease

(NASSCD) had to call upon all the restaurants and food manufacturer to label their products

appropriately. This was to avoid confusing consumers with their information and potentially

threatening the health of celiac disease victims (Marketing Weekly News 252).

Manufacturers and companies should be aware of what gluten free encompasses. The

standard rule is that a product can only be referred to as gluten free if it is composed of less than

20 parts per million of gluten (ppm). Consequently, any company that does not meet this

threshold is doing false advertising (Naeger 1). This rule was made a requirement by the U.S

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) taking full effect from 2014 (Naeger 1). It necessitated

manufactures to change the way they formulated and labeled their products. Similarly,

restaurants that claim to have gluten-free menus have to conform to this rule. To be precise,

foods can be only labeled gluten-free under three circumstances. Firstly, if they do not contain

gluten-containing grain (Naeger 1). Secondly, it is when the products are made of elements

derived from graincontaininggluten, yet to be processed to get rid of the gluten (Naeger 1).

Lastly, it is when the products used components derived from grain having gluten,whichdespite

being processed to remove gluten, the elements contain 20 ppm or more gluten (Naeger 1). In

addition to this rule, any product that has a wheat ingredient or has a wheat statement in their

labeling cannot be referred to as free from gluten unless it has met the standards laid down by

FDA (Naeger 1). As a result, customers are saved from the exposure of gluten and celiac disease

victims will lead a more purposeful life. Additionally, it will increase the consumers confidence

in the variety of products offered by manufacturers as well as restaurants. Similarly, it is helpful

to the manufacturers as they can avoid the liability for false advertising.

Misleading websites and restaurant menus

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Travel is one of the hobbies that an individual can happily engage. However, it is a

challenge for the fast-growing celiac community as they are faced with limited choices when it

comes to what and where they can dine. Due to this fact, several sites have taken advantage to

give a list of restaurants that claim to have gluten-free menus. For instance, the gluten-free travel

site has a section that lists several restaurants that have gluten-free menus (Gastroenterology

Week 627). The aim is to enable people to access gluten-free diets with ease both at national and

regional restaurants. This dramatically benefits such restaurants as more people are likely to

access them. Since more of the people are diagnosed with celiac disease on a daily basis,

restaurants have been keen in listing a range of gluten-free items on their menus

(Gastroenterology Week 627). Most of the owners have recognized the existing gap, and they

have taken the opportunity and decided to come up with gluten-free diets. This gives them a

substantial competitive advantage, and they have consequently ensured created customer loyalty.

However, the primary challenge is on how the site measures the compliance of such restaurants

toward offering gluten-free diet. Since most of the products are handcrafted, the possibility of

contamination is high hence customers will be highly exposed to gluten elements, therefore,

putting their health in danger. It is obvious that any restaurant will be willing to be featured on

such sites; thus they can make false claims to ensure they counter competition and attract more

customers. This is detrimental to the customer bearing in mind that they must strictly follow a

gluten-free diet to live and maintain good health.

Increased cases of Celiac disease

Similarly, false advertisement of gluten-free products can be explained regarding the

people having celiac disease. It is a genetic disorder that adversely destroys small intestines and

at the extreme end causes anemia, osteoporosis, infertility as well as cancers (Gastroenterology
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Week 627). The disease is worsened by consuming gluten which is a protein that is found in

wheat, barley, and rye (Gastroenterology Week 627). The increase in the severity of the disease

among consumers is a clear indication that companies are operating under false advertisement at

the expense of their customers health. For instance, a study done in Canada on children with

celiac disease to evaluate the compliance with gluten-free diet revealed important results that

show that customers are often exposed to gluten elements despite living on a gluten-free diet

(Rashid et al. 1531). During the study, several symptoms were evident. They include

weakness,weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anemia, nausea/vomiting, constipation, and

mood swings. (Rashid et al. 1531). Despite a majority of the population living on a strict gluten-

free diet, they were diagnosed with such symptoms, and very few showed signs of improvement.

It was realized that accidental exposure to gluten led to reactions that led to abdominal

discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, headache, and constipation (Rashid et al. 1531). Most of

them were not happy about the gluten-free diet offered by the companies. As a result, they would

avoid traveling or prefer carrying their gluten-free food rather than going to restaurants that

claim to offer gluten-free products. Besides, they faced difficulty in locating any store that offers

gluten-free food and determining if the products were gluten-free. Furthermore, they suggested

that proper labeling of products would help improve their lives (Rashid et al. 1531). Other

preferences were the need to avail gluten-free foods in supermarkets, having gluten-free choices

in restaurants, early diagnosis of celiac disease and counseling related to diet (Rashid et al.

1531). From this study, it is evident that many people having celiac are exposed to gluten

substances despite strictly adhering to a diet that isgluten-free. This shows that companies and

organization that offer the products are practicing false advertisements to make sure that they sell

their product. This has eventually affected the consumers health.

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Several companies have practiced the false advertisement to win customers and counter

competition. False advertisement of gluten-free products is evident through mislabeling,

misleading websites and menus, and the increased case of celiac disease. However, this has

negatively affected customers who live on a gluten-free diet have been significantly affected, and

their health jeopardized because of false advertisements. It is, therefore, necessary for the

necessary bodies to actively come into the rescue of consumers since false ad of Gluten free food

is real and it has resulted to adverse effects to the consumers such as the celiac disease.
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Works cited

Naeger, Jennifer. "FDA Now Enforcing 'Gluten-Free' Labeling Rule." Mondaq

Business Briefing, 29 Aug. 2014. General OneFile,


6b9f1498ce1f4. Accessed 25 Nov. 2017.

"North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease Calls for Industry

Standardization of 'Gluten-Free' Labeling." Marketing Weekly News, 2 June 2012,

p. 252. Infotrac Newsstand,


e638e4a16478. Accessed 25 Nov. 2017.

"GlutenFreeTravelSite Adds 'Gluten Free Restaurant Menus' Section to Popular

Website." Gastroenterology Week, 23 Mar. 2009, p. 627. Academic OneFile,

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e33206bab8ab51. Accessed 25 Nov. 2017.

Rashid, Mohsin, et al. "Celiac disease: evaluation of the diagnosis and dietary

compliance in Canadian Children." Pediatrics, Dec. 2005, p. 1531+. Academic



5e94a19cf57c2f. Accessed 25 Nov. 2017.

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