2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC803
Submitter : Mrs. Becky Bound Date & Time: 09/13/2005 07:09:35
Organization : Mrs. Becky Bound
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
What should "GLUTEN-FREE" mean on a food label? IT SHOULD MEAN THAT THERE IS NO GLUTEN IN THE PRODUCT OR IN ANY OF THE PRODUCTS INGREDIENTS. Why? BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE HAVE A DISEASE CALLED CELIAC SPRUE AND THESE PEOPLE CANNOT HANDLE ANY GLUTEN IN THEIR DIETS OR THEY GET SICK. NO ONE LIKES TO BE SICK.

How do you identify foods that do not contain gluten? IT IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO IDENTIFY FOODS THAT DO NOT CONTAIN GLUTEN BECAUSE SO MANY OF THE INGREDIENTS CAN HAVE "HIDDEN" GLUTEN AND YOU HAVE TO BE INGREDIENT SAVY TO KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND EVEN THEN ONE CANNOT BE SURE AND WE HAVE TO CALL THE COMPANY TO FIND OUT FOR SURE IF THE PRODUCT DOES OR DOES NOT CONTAIN GLUTEN.
Time spent identifying foods? IF I DON'T KNOW THE PRODUCT THEN IT CAN TAKE WEEKS TO FIND OUT IF THE PRODUCT CONTAINS GLUTEN OR NOT BECAUSE I HAVE TO CALL THE CPMPANY IF THERE IS A PHONE NUMBER OR WRITE THE COMPANY IF THERE IS NOT A PHONE NUMBER AND TEN WAIT FOR THEM TO CALL ME BACK OR WRITE ME BACK. IF THE PRODUCT IS A STORE BRAND NAME AND I CANNOT TELL BY THE INGREDIENTS THAN I HAVE TO LEAVE IT OUT BECAUSE THERE IS NOT A PHONE NUMBEER OR ADDRESS IN WHICH TO CONTACT THE COMPANY TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE GLUTEN CONTENT AND IF I DO GET LUCKY AND CAN TALK TO SOMEONE THEN THEY DON'T KNOW AND CANNOT FIND OUT BECAUSE THEY GET THE FOOD FORM SOME OTHER PLACE.
What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked "GLUTEN-FREE"? ONLY ABOUT 10% OF THE FOODS ARE MARKED "GLUTEN-FREE" AND THEY ARE USUALLY THE PASTA, BREADS, AND CRACKERS. SOMETIMES THE CEREALS ARE MARKED BUT NOT ALL OF THEM.
Does "GLUTEN-FREE" printed on a product label influence your decision to purchase products having the same ingredients? YES! IT CERTAINLY DOES. To what extent? IF A PRODUCT IS MARKED AND I DON'T HAVE TO CALL ABOUT IT AND I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT THEN I KNOW THAT I CAN CONSUME THE PRODUCT WITHOUT ANY WORRY OR QUESTION. I DON'T HAVE TO TRY AND CONTACT THE COMPANY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PRODUCT IS GLUTEN-FREE AND WAIT FOR AN ANSWER IN SOME CASES. I CAN BUY IT QUICK AND EASY WITHOUT WORRY.

The answer to the other question about labeling it A or B? I WOULD BE A GOOD THING. IF I COULD JUST LOOK AT THE CODE THEN I WILL KNOW IF I WANT TO PURCHASE THE PRODUCT OR NOT. I THINK THAT WOULD BE EASY ENOUGH FOR THE COMPANY'S TOO.