Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Why the Big Difference

I am a member of Coeliac UK even though I live in Australia. Why?simple I like the Crossed Grain magazine. Today it arrived and on page 23 I find an add for Gluten Free Oats.

Then I thought how come. In Australia the coeliac society will not recommend oats for the majority of coeliacs. So how come Coeliac UK allow gluten free oats to be advertised in their magazine including the crossed grain logo. Can someone enlighten me. Who are they looking after?

7 Replies

Hi Roscoe, a very good question that many coeliac ask and many others are happy with. They do indeed license the crossed grain logo to the manufacturers of pure oats.

My worry is how oats labelled as gluten free are being used more and more in free from foods and clearly labelled as wheat and gluten free. And if you look at a selection of biscuits in the free from section of most supermarkets the vast majority have the main ingredient as gf oats. And some gf food manufacturers are supplying oat flour for bread and cakes etc. My concern is that we are also advised not to introduce oats until 6 to 12 months after diagnosis and then bot to consume more than 50 (about 1, 3/4 oz) in 24 hours and coeliac children not more than 15g (about 1/2oz)

And the other thing that you want to bear in mind is coeliac in the UK are allowed to eat malted cereals with under 20ppm gluten in them and we can get codex wheat on prescription.

So in answer to your question you have more robust standards in Australia. So a very pertinent question.


I will keep my answer very simple Roscoe. I joined Coeliac UK, saw all the 'gluten' that was being promoted .. the 'gluten free' oats, the up to 20ppm items with wheat starch in them, whilst at the same time in their website, and this is a quote:

"Even very small amounts of gluten can be damaging to people with coeliac disease."

After being a member for a very short while, I thought they are promoting much too much gluten. I felt that I couldn't trust their food directory and I was very disappointed with their Crossed Grain magazine which was advertising foodstuffs that were not, what I considered to be gluten free. Here for instance, are the ingredients that are in Glutafin bread: Water, wheat starch#, rice flour, cellulose fibre, thickeners: guar gum, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose; soya protein, vegetable fat and oil, quinoa flour, vegetable fibre, rice starch, millet flour, yeast, sugar, salt, rice syrup, honey, calcium citrate, folic acid. # Contains gluten free wheat starch which complies with the internationally agreed criteria for gluten free foods so suitable for a gluten free diet (Codex Alimentarius).

Wheat starch of any kind is not suitable for people Coeliac Disease not if a person wishes to become well and wishes to remain so! I don't care how much gluten has been taken out, it is best avoided if coelics want to avoid any other complications with their health. And, I want to be well - all of the time, to feel well - all of the time, I do not wish to gamble with my health.

So Roscoe, I left Coeliac UK. The one thing that I wanted from them was absolute trust. To be advised of which foods were safe for me as a coeliac. Since they wave the flag for products that contain oats and washed wheat - not to mention malted grains and grey areas I thought to myself "if I ever wish to feel 100% fit and well and remain so and importantly, avoid the 300 plus other diseases that are linked to coeliac disease and consumption of gluten ..... then I want purer guidelines than what they are able to offer me." May be, in the future someone will take charge and boot out everything connected to gluten, who knows? At the moment though it's a little like playing Russian Roulette with two bullets in the barrel of the gun!!A


I don't know if this bears any relevance. My partner was diagnosed 8 years ago. His consultant who was absolutely brilliant did advise us that some people are only gluten intolerant ( which is a part of wheat ) and some people are the full blown wheat, Gluten, barley, oats, rye etc intolerant. my husband is the full blown everything so some people who are gluten free can eat oats and some can't. He did say over time to try oats & barley, but this has not proved possible as my husband is highly sensitive,although he can drink whiskey.


Hi loobylou we are talking coeliac disease here and not gluten intolerent. Gluten in wheat, Hordein in barley, Avenin in Oats and Secalin in Barley are closely related. It is difficult to read the avanin in oats however. Dr Bob Anderson states that 1:5 coeliacs can toerate oats however warns that unless you need it to eat don,t. Hope this makes sense.


A great point Roscoe. Why not write a blog post sharing other snippets from Coeliac Society life in Oz?

We haven't tried Oats since diagnosis as the avenin protein in it is so similar to gluten proteins in other grains. It is interesting to see how coeliac society advice varies worldwide - perhaps due to research and how they operate their business models.


Hi Fiona I will do a blog re coeliacand the Oz you will see a big difference I am sure. My point and I am sure you will agree that a simple thing like oats advice should be worldwide. Oats are oats no matter where we are.


Hi Roscoe yes I agree it could be that my husband weighed 5 stone and was on the verge of organ failure when he was diagnosed with coeliac, it looks like my son now has the DH too. His consultant did say that he was intolerant to the extreme, and that Coeliac can be a broad sprectrum diagnosis.


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