The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), the leader in the certification of gluten-free products and food services, has issued its State of GIG report in conjunction with Celiac Awareness Month, recognized every year during the month of May. The report recounts the non-profit organization's extensive efforts to positively affect the quality of life for those living gluten-free. While Celiac Awareness Month is a time of unification, collaboration and togetherness for those with celiac disease and for the gluten-free community, GIG recognizes a continuous effort is required to fulfill the needs of those living gluten free. Since 1974, GIG has been empowering the gluten-free community through consumer support, advocacy and education to make sure that celiac and gluten intolerance-awareness is something that is recognized throughout the year.
In addition to its outreach efforts, more than a decade ago GIG created the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a program that has become a global leader in the verification of quality, integrity, and safety of gluten-free products. The certification label of the GFCO program stands as the symbol of trust for the gluten-free community and can be found on more than 40,000 gluten-free products worldwide. To assure that food service locations are held to the same standards as manufacturers of products, GIG also founded the Gluten Free Food Service program (GFFS) to help establish best practices for facilities offering gluten-free options.
Highlights from the projects GIG has embarked on in the past year include:
- At the beginning of May’s Celiac Awareness Month, GIG and the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) announced a partnership to improve the services provided to all persons living gluten-free
- GFCO attained ISO/IEC 17065:2012 (ISO 17065) accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, the international quality standard for organizations certifying products, processes and services. The accreditation differentiates GIG from certification organizations that only focus on a company's management and processes
- Two important food safety research studies conducted by GIG. A first of its kind, GIG pilot study, "The Celiac Patient Antibody Response to Conventional and Gluten-Removed Beer", was published online by the Journal of AOAC International, and a second study, the "Definition of the 'Purity Protocol' for Producing Gluten-Free Oats" was published by AACC International (formerly the American Association of Cereal Chemists)
"We are proud to always participate in Celiac Awareness Month, as it raises awareness for the millions of people worldwide who are affected by celiac disease and for the gluten-free community as a whole," said Cynthia Kupper, CEO, Gluten Intolerance Group. “In an environment with multiple influencers, it is our commitment to be the voice of the gluten-free consumer. However, no matter what month it reads on the calendar, GIG will stay true to our mission to provide continual program improvements and explore new opportunities that will positively affect the quality of life for all persons living gluten-free.”
For more information on GIG's activities, you may view its State of GIG report here.