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General Mills Canada removing gluten-free label from Cheerios

Cereal maker says it is waiting for consistent testing around products containing oats

General Mills Canada says it's removing the gluten-free label from future Cheerios cereal boxes as it awaits consistent government testing protocols for products containing oats.

The company said Cheerios products on store shelves do meet the current government standard for being gluten-free and don't pose a health risk.

But concerns were raised last year by the Canadian Celiac Association, which advocates for people with a sensitivity to gluten.

It said in August 2016 that oats -- a naturally gluten-free grain -- can be in contact with gluten-containing grains, especially barley and wheat.

General Mills said each serving of Cheerios products in Canada is gluten-free, as defined by the regulatory standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

But the company said the gluten-free label won't be on future Cheerios cereal boxes until Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency publish a consistent testing protocol for products containing oats.

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