Thought people here might like to know that the section of SAA's website on the low starch diet changed a couple days ago. It is much more positive and open. http://www.spondylitis.org/about/diet_lowstarch.aspx
I emailed them a week ago because I wanted to know in particular what they were referring to when the site spoke of studies that "found the diet to have little or no effect.", and had a link to an SAA seminar referring to 'rigorous' studies that showed no impact.
Well . . . no such studies exist--something Dragonslayer and others have been saying all along. After a little back and forth SAA agreed that the information on the site was inaccurate. (Thanks to jroc who helped me out hugely and supplied a withering analysis of the one diet study that SAA did produce and mistakenly took to be applicable.)
I don't know how SAA came to think that the diet had been studied after Erbringer. Quite a blunder, since they're the larget source of information for AS patients in the U.S. (e.g. Google AS and diet and that page pops up on top).
For what it's worth, I corresponded with SAA's Chris Miller, the current director of programs, who was impressively prompt and open (it was less than a week from my original email inquiring into the studies to the change in the website info). He seems pretty sympathetic to the diet. He also tells me SAA researchers are currently studying gut flora's role in AS's pathogenesis. So maybe things are truly shifting.
Still working on NASS, whose site still looks more or less like SAA's used to look: http://www.nass.co.uk/about-as/managing-my-as/diet-and-as/