2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1171
Submitter : Ms. chris green Date & Time: 09/20/2005 04:09:07
Organization : na
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL


FDA Docket # 2005N-0279

Until recently, celiac disease in the United States was thought to be rare. However, the Archives of Internal Medicine, February 2003, published the results of a new, multi-center study led by the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, which indicates that celiac the disease can affect one in every 133 Americans (1.5 million people). This makes celiac disease twice as common as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.

Current labeling laws do not adequately address the needs of persons with celiac disease or food allergies. Because gluten is a binding protein, it can be used in many food products, which would make them unsafe for celiacs to eat. Food processors do not define gluten the same as the medical community. Therefore, a person with celiac disease might not recognize some ingredients as containing gluten, when reading a food label. If the label is unclear, persons with celiac disease must contact the food company each time they want to use a product to determine its safety. The end result is even greater restrictions on the availability of foods for our diet.

I hope that you will support efforts to improve the labeling of foods, so that individuals with celiac disease (and all people with sensitivities) can be assured that the foods they select are truly safe to eat.

Please understand me and just how important this is to the future of 1 out of every 133 persons living in this country! My son is already finding out how confusing the labeling is on the products he must sift through in stores??..and I live for the day he won?t have to be a minor scientist to understand all the many hidden sources of GLUTEN.

*Gluten Free MUST MEAN there is NO chance of contamination of gluten or contain products that have any chance of contamination with gluten.
*Consumers MUST be able to clearly identify from the label what the actual ingredients are and what are the known allergens.
*I am a SERIOUS label reader and of every item I purchase for our family, I would guesstimate that only about 5% of the items I buy are actually labeled ?GLUTEN FREE?. But I am encouraged to read (what I hope are) clearly marked ingredient list AND many of which actually list known allergens (corn, soy, peanut, dairy, egg, wheat etc.).
*If I see ?GLUTEN FREE? on the label or packaging I purchase, I admit I feel confident that the manufacture knows the seriousness of the meaning and it is very assuring to me when I stock up.

Thank you for bringing about change that is overdue.

Sincerely,

Chris S. Green
Momma of Gluten Intolerant Joseph T. Green