Quarter 3 2021

In this issue
  • GFCO Manual Update 2021.1
  • Mandatory Public Product List
  • Webinar: Insights into the Gluten-Free Shopper!
  • FDA Fermented & Hydrolyzed Regulation
  • NEW Manufacturer Listing
  • GIG Marketing News
  • GFCO Logo Submissions
  • Certification Mark Update
  • 2021 Proficiency Testing
Haven’t Heard From GFCO Lately?
In mid June, GFCO became aware that many email security platforms, such as Barracuda and Mimecast, had incorrectly flagged our emails as spam or phishing attempts. We have been able to correct this in the majority of cases, but just to make sure everyone is aware, we will be sending this newsletter via email and regular mail.
If you feel you are not receiving responses from your contacts at GFCO, please make sure to allow-list our @gluten.org email domain. We are still receiving emails, so you may also reach out via email to gfco.clientsupport@gluten.org and request a phone call.
REMINDER: Testing Submissions for the second quarter of 2021 were due on July 10th. Please make sure to submit your data to testing@gluten.org
Automated reminders will now be sent 30 days after the testing due date, to any client who has not submitted testing data or a notice that they did not produce certified products during the previous quarter. Testing and the submission of testing data are a requirement for certification, and the failure to submit testing data, or a notice that no certified products were produced, may result in the reduction, probation or withdrawal of certification.
GFCO Manual Update 2021.1
The GFCO Manual has been updated to clarify some sections and policies. These updates do not affect your current certification.

You can view the updated Manual at www.gfco.org/certification. The changes are listed in detail at the end of the document.

One new addition is information on ingredients that require special consideration—wheat starch, enzymes and cultures, and distilled beverages. Due to the nature of these materials, we will request additional documentation when they are used in certified products.

If you have any questions about the updates, please contact laura.allred@gluten.org.

Public Product List
In 2020, GFCO introduced an online list of certified products, which could be accessed by consumers to find products by brand name or product name. The goal of the list is to help consumers and manufacturers find safe products and raw materials, and to direct buyers towards products that are certified by GFCO. We have had great public feedback about the list, and the ways in which it helps people to find safe products. We have also heard that consumers felt frustration and confusion, because not all certified products were available on this list. For this reason, beginning with our Quarter 1, 2021 newsletter, we announced that appearance on the public list would be mandatory beginning September 1, 2021. Given our recent issues with email deliverability, we have now adjusted that deadline, and the appearance of all certified products on the public list will become mandatory on January 1, 2022, regardless of whether clients have previously chosen to opt out. We are confident that this change will benefit not only consumers but also our GFCO clients, who have invested a great deal of time and effort into earning and maintaining their certification. 

The public product list, which can be viewed at www.gfco.org/product-directory, does not display any confidential information. The current entries are the brand name and product name, but the next phase of our public product list development may include upgrades, including a display of UPC codes and product photos.

As mentioned, there will no longer be an opportunity to opt out of having certified products appear on the public list as of January 1, 2022, and an updated Product & Ingredient template will be released later this year to reflect this change. The only exception will be made for products that are being submitted for certification, but which have a future release date. Those products may be kept off of the list until such time as they are available for sale.
THIS JUST IN! Nearly ¼ of US Shoppers are avoiding gluten in their household, according to new research.  

The Gluten Intolerance Group is proud to present data from our recent consumer research initiative. Join us to learn who this gluten free shopper is, why they chose gluten-free, what motivates their shopping behavior and more! GIG will also present information on their outreach efforts into the gluten-free community and how clients can get involved. 

This webinar is by invitation only, exclusively for GFCO clients.
FDA Regulation on Fermented
& Hydrolyzed Products
The FDA final rule on gluten-free labeling of fermented and hydrolyzed foods goes into effect on August 31 of this year. This rule impacts all GFCO clients who use any materials processed by or derived from live cultures, including yeast, bacterially-grown enzymes and probiotics.

For all cultures, enzymes and probiotics that are reported to GFCO as ingredients or processing aids in certified products, we are requesting information on the growth media used—and for growth meda that may contain wheat, rye or barley, we are requesting information on the amount of cultured material used per volume of finished product. We understand that the new FDA regulation is a change, and we do not plan to withdraw certification for any currently certified products. Our aim is to provide information to help people meet the new FDA regulation. However, we do not enforce the FDA regulation, and we cannot guarantee that our suggestions will meet the FDA requirements.

Once you gather your documents, if you need any help reviewing them, or in determining potential gluten contamination based on the information you receive, please contact laura.allred@gluten.org.

If you are able to share any of the information you receive from your suppliers, or any of your internal information about how much of a cultured material you use in finished products, please also contact laura.allred@gluten.org. The more information we can collect regarding the very low potential of gluten contamination in typical use, the better we will be able to provide guidance for everyone.

GFCO Manufacturer Listing
GFCO is pleased to announce the launch of our public listing of approved GFCO manufacturers. This listing can be accessed from the www.gfco.org homepage by clicking on the “Manufacturer Listing button, or directly at www.gfco.org/manufacturer-listing.

GFCO receives many requests from product developers and brand owners, asking for information on plants that could make their products. This list is designed to help them find manufacturers that have successfully completed the GFCO certification process for other products. Please remember that GFCO has not “certified” these facilities, and that GFCO certification only applies to specific products made by approved manufacturers.

To help brand owners find your facility, the list is searchable by plant name, manufacturing category, city, state, and the type of manufacturing available (co-manufacturing or private label). This is all information that is gathered during the plant registration process.

This list does not connect any facility to the brands or products being currently made there. Rather, it shows facilities that are currently compliant with the GFCO Standard.

REMINDER: Submission of Logo Usage
All GFCO clients are required to submit examples of any use of the GFCO certification mark for review and approval prior to use, by sending them to gfco.branding@gluten.org.

This includes the use of the logo on packaging, as well as in advertising and on any websites.

Types of submissions could include packaging proof pdf files, screenshots from websites, brochure or advertising files, or photos of products, webpages or materials.

Please make sure you are submitting this evidence prior to any use of the GFCO logo.

GFCO Certification Mark Updates

The GFCO global certification mark was announced last year, and all GFCO clients must change to the new mark on their packaging and advertising by March 31, 2022. Since its release, the mark has achieved registered status in a few countries, and some clients have requested bilingual versions of the mark. The following is an update on the status of the mark:

The full and consolidated English versions of the mark have been registered and approved in the United States, Brazil and Israel, and the full English version has been registered and approved in Peru. The mark can, and should, be used with the ® registration mark in these countries at your next packaging redesign. In all other countries, the mark should be used with the TM symbol.

A bilingual French-English mark has been submitted for review in Canada, but has not yet received initial approval. Due to coronavirus-related backlogs, the Canadian patent office is reporting a delay of 22-24 months for review. We cannot release the mark for use prior to this review, and given the legal requirements in Quebec, we are allowing clients to continue to use the previous French-English bilingual logo until the new bilingual mark is available. Once the new bilingual mark receives initial approval, clients will have two years to remove the old bilingual logo and switch to the new one. A Spanish-English version of the mark is also in development, and the same process will apply for the use of that logo.

2021 Proficiency Testing Round
The 2021 GFCO Proficiency Testing round, Wheat and Barley Gluten in Pancake Mix, is now open. You may sign up at www.gluten.org/proficiency-registration. Preliminary reports will be issued all year, within 2 weeks of result submission. The final report will be issued in January of 2022. The deadline to sign up is November 30, 2021, and all results must be received by December 31, 2021.

GIG Marketing News
As an added value to GFCO clients who have participated in GIG and Generation GF program efforts this year, GFCO will provide shelf space in our 2021 Expo East booth!

It’s not too late to support GIG's outreach efforts...

Regulatory Manager
Laura Allred

GFCO Certification Manager
Paul Vachris
Testing Submissions

Logo Submissions

Positive Results

Gluten Intolerance Group of NA
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