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Judge halts firm's bread sales

Posted January 22, 2010

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— A Superior Court judge has ordered a Durham-based company to stop selling bread it advertises as gluten-free after state regulators determined the bread could cause reactions in people who are allergic to gluten.

Judge Donald Stephens issued a temporary restraining order Thursday to prevent Great Specialty Products from selling its bread and other baked goods until a Feb. 1 court hearing on a state lawsuit against the firm.

The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants the court to prohibit Great Specialty from advertising its products as gluten-free.

Numerous people who bought products from Great Specialty at the 2009 State Fair or ordered items off the company's Web site have complained of allergic reactions after eating the products, according to the lawsuit.

Gluten is a protein in wheat and other grains, and some people with autoimmune disorders experience digestive problems when they eat products containing gluten.

Tests of some of the company's bread showed high levels of gluten, the lawsuit states.

Great Specialty is run out of a house on Cardinal Lake Drive in Durham, said Brian Long, a spokesman for the agriculture department. He said the company didn't bake its own bread but purchased items from bakeries and packaged and sold them under its own label, claiming the products were gluten-free.

Because the company sold directly to consumers and not through grocery stores and other retailers, it's unknown how many loaves of bread and other products were sold to unsuspecting buyers, Long said.


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  • Leonardo Jan 22, 2010

    Wow...that's just evil.

  • concerncitizen Jan 22, 2010

    "fall under out and out fraud" Could be, but more likely, it's legal because 1 tenth of 1% is all the gluten that was present? Like 90% of the food we get in this country. "free" doesn't mean none present? Some of our product and the way that are sold in this country can't even pass customs in other countries!

  • Rolling Along Jan 22, 2010

    I think this case would fall under out and out fraud. Kind of like taking sugar pills and relabeling them as a medicine...not to mention it has the potential to cause some serious health problems for some people. Put them out of business.

  • wildcat Jan 22, 2010

    Thanks Judge!

  • 007KnightRider Jan 22, 2010

    The "company didn't bake its own bread but purchased items from bakeries and packaged and sold them under its own label, claiming the products were gluten-free."

    WOW, that says it all! I should start my own company like these folks did!

  • are you kidding me Jan 22, 2010

    Best argument for a regulation free society! There you go all you Ayn Rand nuts?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 22, 2010

    The gov't just needs to stay out of the way of businesses trying to make a living.

    If a business wants to poison people, they should have the right to. We don't need anyone verifying health claims or making sure our food, air and water are safe. But-t out Uncle Sam!


  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 22, 2010

    Nice... My wife and a daughter are gluten intolerant so glad they didn't run across this business...