2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC32
Submitter : Mr. William Kutschera Date & Time: 08/15/2005 05:08:07
Organization : Mr. William Kutschera
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
I am a 'celiac' (gluten-intolerant) and I suffered from the effects of the disease for 35 years until I was finally diagnosed in March. I immediately went on a gluten-free diet and my symptoms disappeared in 48 hours. My wife is a magnificent cook and prepares meals that do not taste gluten- free but we find it very difficult to determine what has and does not have gluten in it due to a lack of standardized labeling.

Gluten intolerance (celiac disease) is not just incovenient, it is potentially catastrophic since the erosion of the small intestine can lead to the need for a colostomy or worse. By requiring food processing companies to simply state on the ingredient lable if any gluten-containing ingredients are in the product, the gluten-intolerant can avoid the effects of the disease.

I am not a big proponent of government mandate but, since the FDA is charged with the practical obligation to insure the purity of our foods and drugs, requiring the label to disclaim gluten content instead of merely using terms such as 'modified food starch' which may or may not mean it contains gluten will improve the lives of the 1 in 133 of us that suffer from the allergy.

Thank you for your consideration.