Take the case of yogurt. Some of it is labeled gluten free -- and a lot of it isn't labeled either way.
Consider just a few yogurts produced in the Pacific Northwest, for instance. Nancy's yogurt, out of Oregon, is not labeled gluten free on the container. Yet there are no gluten ingredients (and I've never had symptoms after eating). Yami yogurt, out of Auburn, Washington, is labeled gluten free. And, in keeping with the trend towards Greek yogurt, Yami has a new Greek yogurt as well, called Zoi. Some of you may remember a previous post when I interviewed my friend Iris, picking her brain about Greek yogurt and the best brands.
As Greek yogurt seems to be enjoying a resurgence (at least two brands are being advertised on television currently), I contacted Dannon, which makes a Greek yogurt called Oikos, about whether it's gluten free or not.
Here is their reply:
"We sincerely appreciate your interest in Dannon yogurt products and gluten.
We do not use the term gluten free with respect to our yogurts. We separate our products into gluten safe or not gluten safe categories, depending on the specific brand of Dannon yogurt.
Dannon Plain yogurts (Lowfat, Nonfat and Natural), Dannon Plain Activia (in the 24 ounce container) and Dannon Plain Oikos are all gluten safe. However, all other Dannon yogurts cannot be designated as gluten safe because we do not specifically test every ingredient or the overall finished product for gluten."
So, there you go. Now, remember that the FDA has not finally determined the standard for "gluten free" -- so each manufacturer is left to their best efforts.
Also, my friend Iris informs me that Costco (at least her local Costco) no longer carries her favorite brand of Greek Yogurt, as noted in my interview with her, here.