Last week while I was delivering products to Katuah Market at Biltmore Station in Ashevllle, NC, I was asked if my soaps were Gluten Free? As the Katuah personal care department manager was holding bottles of Warhorse's Sweet Salvage Body Wash and Shampoo, she advised me to take a look at her department's product line up. "Gluten Free" was on the front label of several cleansers....mmmmhhhh.... She also told me many of their customers look for this certification. As soon as I got back to Polk County, I got to doing some research on this topic. What if my soaps could harm people with gluten allergies? "FDA Guten Free" is first topic I googled. I read that the FDA finds 5% of products on the market are mislabeled as "Gluten Free." Ouch--very dangerous for someone who has to stay away from gluten.
If you think Gluten Free soap and shampoo are marketing hype, just listen to folks who live with it daily. Jane Anderson wrote an article, "Do You REALLY Need Gluten-Free Shampoo? I Say Yes" and explained why she and her daughter need to avoid personal care products that have gluten. Jane asserts,
"...I occasionally get shampoo in my mouth, and I frequently touch my hair and then my mouth. This contact would be plenty to make me react... My daughter sometimes takes a tub bath and immerses her entire shampoo-covered head in the water, mouth and all. If she didn't use gluten-free shampoo, she'd be glutened every time she did this."
Alrighty then! With more research I found further evidence that people with gluten allergies and Celiac disease want the "Gluten Free" statement on food and cosmetic products.
Here's a Gluten Free update from the FDA website on testing and labeling:
"FDA set a gluten limit of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) in foods that carry this label. This is the lowest level that can be consistently detected in foods using valid scientific analytical tools. This level is consistent with those set by other countries and international bodies that set food safety standards." This is a link to the entire FDA article.
I am pretty sure Warhorse people soaps, pet and horse shampoo are naturally Gluten Free, meaning that the ingredients and food grade oils wouldn't have gluten in them. Who needs a test when I'm almost positive? But can Warhorse put Gluten Free on the label and back it up?
On the topic of marketing hype: This is my father's bad$$$ Water Buffalo Bull. He's got this gaze... as if he's checking me out to see if I'm full of it. Maybe daring me to cross the line, to jump over the fence. Wouldn't you agree? I'm certainly not going to try to pull one over on him. So this persnickety Warhorse soap maker sent a soap sample to a 3rd party lab for testing down to 20 ppm, FDA standards. Here are the results as of yesterday.
I always instructed my high school-research paper-writing students, go to the source, and prove your thesis with the strongest evidence you can find. Leave no doubt! This Warhorse is trying to meet the needs of our customers and has the goal of being transparent, so people know we aren't full of bull$$$$ and marketing hype.
Do these donkeys need Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner? Do they want Non GMO, minimally processed, no sulfates or dyes, or perfumes? Heck if I know, but if they do, Warhorse makes it and has the testing and documents to back it up.