Baker charged over bread labeling

From staff reportsDecember 3, 2010 

A Durham baker who was arrested after being accused of selling bread falsely advertised as gluten-free is in more legal trouble.

Paul Evan Seelig, 48, of 3105 Cardinal Drive, was charged Thursday in Wake County with at least 19 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses for selling improperly labeled bread.

In February, a Superior Court judge ordered Seelig to temporarily stop selling food products after a hearing into allegations against him and his company, Great Speciality Products.

About two dozen people had complained to state officials that they became ill after eating the bread. People with celiac disease adhere to a strict gluten-free diet. The disease renders them unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains that damages their lower intestine, making them unable to absorb nutrients and can lead to autoimmune disorders and miscarriages.

After that February hearing, Seelig was arrested by state Department of Agriculture police and charged with six counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

The new charges landed Seelig in the Wake County jail, where he was being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail Thursday night.

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