2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1045
Submitter : Mrs. Lea Pollak Date & Time: 09/20/2005 03:09:18
Organization : Croatian National Institute of Public Heatlh
Category : Health Professional
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
Dear all, in our National Institute we analyzed numbers of samples which are declared as 'Gluten-free' with crossed sign, and numbers of nonlabelled samples, normal foods.
We found out that 'Gluten-free' foods with crossed sign have significant amount of gluten (as many as 30% of such foods had a gluten level >20 mg/kg), what is confirmed and submitted with the product specification, in which unfortunately, the consumer, a celiac disease patient, has no insight. Of course, the level of gluten was found to be within the borderline values for 'Gluten-free' foods, but it is not the same if that value is 20 mg/kg or 199 mg/kg. The patients have assurance that such 'Gluten-free' products are absolutely free of gluten and thus completely safe for him, so he consumes it without thinking on daily value and quantity. After that nutrition when symptoms come back, what is usual with our patients, they lost their faith in such products, and they are confused.
Because of patient trust and their orientation to consume precisely the foods declared as 'Gluten-free', we consider it necessary for food labels to specify the amount of gluten. It is important for patients that they could count their daily intake (such as diabetics), because every patient has his own intolerance.
We think that it is nowadays safer for the patients to consume normal foods for which they know, thanks to our analyses reports, amount of gluten, then to buy expensive, nonlabelled 'Gluten-free' foods, which is specially made for them, but it has hidden gluten!
Of course, we can confirm of being 'Gluten-free' products but WITH GLUTEN AMOUNT in it. For these patients only that is important, amount of proteins and etc. is minor.
So, please, notify that the only medicament for this kind of patients is FOOD!

Thanks,

Lea Pollak, Nutr Tech BSc