Warning: Always Read Fine Print

Crafted-to-Remove-GlutenGrains such as barley and wheat used to make beer contain gluten (although gluten-free beer can be made from grains such as sorghum, buckwheat, rice, and millet).

Can gluten be removed from traditional beer grains?  During the middle of our products liability coverage in first-year Torts, a student sent this photo of a beer carton boasting in bold capital letters “CRAFTED TO REMOVE GLUTEN.”

The beer was of interest to the student, who suffers from celiac disease.  Persons with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, cannot consume gluten because their bodies will mistakenly react to gluten as if it were a poison.

But then she came to the fine print at the bottom of the box, which says:

* Product fermented from grains containing gluten and crafted to remove gluten. The gluten content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten.

Gluten - Read the Fine PrintAs the student commented, “I have no clue what the manufacturer is even trying to say.”  Given the danger gluten presents to some consumers, surely the disclaimer deserves more prominent billing on the label.

Needless to say, the student passed on buying the beer.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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