2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1
Submitter : Mr. Karl Schilke Date & Time: 07/28/2005 07:07:37
Organization : Oregon State University
Category : Academia
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
Members of the Committee:

Please consider the need to extend labeling distinctions between 'gluten-free' (i.e. no wheat, rye, or barley derivatives), and 'wheat-free' products. In particular, many foods (e.g. crisped rice cereal) contain ingredients such as malt extract that may pose a health risk to celiacs. These foods may accurately be labeled 'wheat-free'; however, this may lead celiac consumers to mistakenly believe the foods are safe for them to consume. It is often easy to overlook malt and other ingredients while reading food labels.

Although not classified as 'Big 8' allergens, I suggest that barley (malt extract, etc.) and rye ingredients should be disclosed in a similar manner. This is especially important with 'wheat-free' foods, which are often displayed in the same location as 'gluten-free' foods in stores.

Thank you very much for considering this concern. Consistent and comprehensive label information about food allergens shows that regulatory agencies and food manufacturers are aware of and concerned with consumer health issues.

Sincerely,

Karl Schilke (schilkek at onid dot orst dot edu)