|2005N-0279||Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting|
|FDA Comment Number :||EC1010|
|Submitter :||Mrs. Jackie Campanale||Date & Time:||09/20/2005 03:09:21|
|Organization :||Mrs. Jackie Campanale|
|Category :||Individual Consumer|
| In response to the questions posted regarding gluten-free labeling of foods, my comments are as follows:
To me, the label "gluten-free" means that there are no ingredients in the product containing wheat, rye, barley or oats - not even trace amounts.
I am the mother of a 6 year old child with Celiac Disease and when I shop for food he can eat, I purchase some of it in the specialty food section where they sell products specifically manufactured for people on a gluten free diet. I also shop for "regular" foods that he can eat. This can double my shopping time because I need to read every ingredient on the label to be sure my son doesn't ingest gluten.
Where I shop there is a small section with labeled gluten free foods - probably a shelf about 4' x 4'. However, I am lucky to have a Wegman's food market in my neighborhood. They have a listing on their website (www.wegmans.com) that shows every Wegman's manufactured product that is gluten free. It's a wonderful store.
Gluten-free printed on the label doesn't influence me to buy a product over one with the same ingredient. The gluten-free labeled products are usually at least double the price of a non-gluten-free product so I would tend to purchase the cheaper. I do believe a label on a product and I trust that manufacturers are not falsifying their products.
As far as labeling different levels of gluten free on a product, If you truly have celiace disease, any gastroenterologist will tell you not to ingest gluten of any kind or amount. I guess for people who are "gluten sensitive" the labeling might lead them to try foods with trace amounts and see how their bodies react. But to keep a person with celiac disease, especially a child, you need to eliminate even trace amounts of gluten.
I hope my comments are useful and help you come to some conclusions on how the labeling should be done.
Thanks for your time.