Thank you for your response. I am curious what you mean by "zero-tolerant classifications". I've never heard of such a thing here in the US.
The legal term "adulteration" is actually key. It's divided into intentional and unintentional adulteration, at least from my understanding. Intentional adulteration is mainly used in the sense of food terrorism and food defense, and carries with it the implication of attempting to cause harm, whether physically, financially, etc.
However, unintentional adulteration becomes more difficult to categorize. Ignorance truly is not bliss, as we've seen from repeated FDA investigations and subsequent recalls, and the trials that often follow, throughout the food industry here in the US.
If this were any other sector/category of the food industry, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. However, the FDA has specifically acknowledged that, in the grain industry, cross-contamination happens. It's just the way it is. So, again, I quote the FDA (http://www.fda.gov/f...s/ucm059116.htm):
(Oat products may contain adventitious barley, rye, wheat and triticale from the grain handling process as allowed by the U.S. Grain Handling Standards and the Canadian Grain Commission. According to the latest Q&A Document released by the FDA December 12, 2005, labeling of allergens from cross-contact is not required.)
"FALCPA's labeling requirements do not apply to major food allergens that are unintentionally added to a food as the result of cross-contact. In the context of food allergens, “cross-contact” occurs when a residue or other trace amount of an allergenic food is unintentionally incorporated into another food that is not intended to contain that allergenic food. Cross-contact may result from customary methods of growing and harvesting crops, as well as from the use of shared storage, transportation, or production equipment."
We are making no claims that our product has not had any kind of cross-contamination. We are making no gluten-free claims, nor are we making any other claims. So, if the FDA acknowledges that this happens with our product, but doesn't consider it to be a concern, why would we? It is well known that those with gluten intolerance (here in the US, anyway) will specifically look for the label "Gluten-free" on items. If the item doesn't have that label, they know there is an inherent risk...especially with grains.
So, again, based upon the evidence I've presented, as well as the advice of our SQF-certified auditor consultant, we will not be employing any sort of allergen testing. Our allergen control program shall consist of prohibiting the receiving of anything into our plant that is labeled or otherwise contains a declared allergen, and strict adherence to our procedures to sample, inspect (and reject, if outside of limits on percentage of foreign grain allowed), aspirate and screen our oats prior to processing.
I cannot see any valid reason why we would need to do anything further at this time. If the rules change, or if we begin to export, we will obviously need to address changes at that time.