Irish Distiller in Trouble Over “Gluten-Free” Claims

St. Patrick’s Distillery of Cork, Ireland is in some hot water with The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) after claims were made that their potato-based vodka and gin are gluten-free. Based on the Irish Examiner, not only have complaints been filed towards the distillery, but according to the FSAI, the claims are misleading and could be breaking food-labeling laws.

The gin and vodka sold by St. Patrick’s Distillery are gluten-free, of course, but that’s only because all vodka and gin are gluten free—as are all spirits, wines and ciders. The problem is that based on Irish law, companies can’t make claims like that. A spokesperson for the FSAI explained that: “the food information must not mislead the consumer by suggesting that the food possess special characteristics when, in fact, all similar foods possess such characteristics.”

The distillery somehow said that it was a common misconception that all gin and vodka are gluten free, also responding that if a product was made from wheat, no matter what you do to it, it’s still made from wheat. Niamh O’Connor of Cork Nutrition was shocked by their claims saying: “It is an absolute indisputable fact that distilled spirits are gluten free, even if gluten-containing grains are used as a raw ingredient.” [Irish Examiner][Photo: Flickr/cyclonebill]