2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1450
Submitter : Ms. Amee Earl Date & Time: 09/20/2005 06:09:37
Organization : Celiac Sprue Association (member)
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
Gluten free on a food label should mean it has been produced using/contains no wheat, barley, rye, oats or any of their derivatives. A tiered system would also work if it were easy to identify: i.e: Level A means NO gluten, Level B means trace amounts less than "X" parts per million, etc. I identify foods that do not contain gluten by reading the ingredient list, and comparing it to a list I carry with me of foods and food addivites known to contain gluten. I also call companies if I am unsure, but many companies sadly don't know what gluten is, or whether or not their products contain it. I spend 2 hours per week or more identifying gluten free foods by reading ingredients and calling companies. Approximately 25% of my purchased foods are labeled gluten-free, but even if it is printed on the label I check the ingredients, as I have found suspect ingredients on past labeling. If I knew the Federal Regulation for gluten-free labeling, it would make it much easier to trust the label. ****I would also like to suggest that gluten-containing foods be federally mandated to state that on the label, as foods with peanuts, wheat, etc. are required to do. Food manufacturers should be more educated about gluten and identifying it on their labels, as the number of discovered celiacs grows daily and safeguarding our health would be easier with help from those producing it. If restaurant owners & staff were also more educated it would make dining out an enjoyable experience again, as most staff and even some head chefs are unaware of how to assist a celiac in finding a meal without gluten.***

THANK YOU for the steps you are taking, as they are a great start in helping simplify life with celiac sprue.