2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC897
Submitter : Ms. Lynn DeJohn Date & Time: 09/14/2005 05:09:54
Organization : Ms. Lynn DeJohn
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
Dear FDA:

After 10 years of misdiagnosis and much suffering, my adult son was finally diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Mainstream grocery shopping can be so time consuming and frustrating -- many items have gluten in them, but use other names (like modified food starch, for example).

A regulation for ?gluten-free? product labels would clear a major hurdle for celiacs. Europe and other countries have already taken a serious stand on this for many years. Formal adoption of regulations like Europe?s will help those US celiacs continue with confidence to purchase outside products that are labeled ?gluten-free.?

The ?zero tolerance? regulation, however, seems as though it may cause more harm than good, according to what we have read. The fear is that, out of fear of litigation, some gluten-free specialty food companies (which we, and many mainstream restaurants rely on!) may discontinue using ?gluten-free? on their labels. The grains used by these food companies are purchased -- they are not grown and milled by them. (Please see this website for research information on this topic of gluten trace levels in celiac diets: http://www.celiac.com/st_main.html?p_catid=15P)

We need to do what we can to expand the safety and availability of gluten free foods for our celiac families.

Thank you.