How many inspectors does GIG have for its certification process and do these inspectors visit each facility at least once a year?
I asked the question again on April 6th after Ms. Kupper contacted me via Facebook and left it on the table for a response. To-date I have not received a response nor do I think that I will. I am guessing that answering the question would open GIG up to increased criticism because something tells me that they are not visiting every certified location around the globe (remember it is an international program) at least once a year. In all of her responses, Ms. Kupper has been rather dismissive that the rigor of the certification program should even come under scrutiny.
I was able to access GIG’s public 2011 Federal 990 filing (only the 2010 was available at the time of my original post) and their certification program revenue is now listed at $899,302 and even after $415,241 in listed expenses it is still their main profit center which says something. That’s a 58.6% jump in revenue over the previous year for the certification program.
I also find that it speaks volumes that nowhere (at least to my knowledge) on the GIG or GFCO Web sites does it even mention that one of their “certified” products was even under a recall. I suppose why bite the hand that feeds you? A recall of this magnitude and GIG’s lack of transparency with their certification program has led me to place very little value on the certified gluten-free logo – and I am clearly not alone based on some of the comments and e-mails I received from many of you. I don’t question that they have good intentions but I do question whether or not they should be in the certification process period.
So, it is caveat emptor when it comes to purchasing certified gluten-free products and quite frankly the GFCO logo will no longer play a role when this Celiac is doing his shopping. I remain of the mindset that you simply cannot certify something that has no real standards.