2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1002
Submitter : Mrs. Linda LiCalzi Date & Time: 09/14/2005 06:09:33
Organization : Mrs. Linda LiCalzi
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Any gluten hurts my body, so GF on a label makes a buying/eating decision straight-forward. Thanks for working on this important matter for celiacs.
1) GF should mean NO GLUTEN from any source in the product.
2) At present, I have to read all the printed material on a product, not just the nutrition facts, if there is no GF tag. If a product simply states 'artificial flavoring', I have to forego buying it, because there may be trace amounts of gluten in the unspecified flavorings. This involves a significant amount of time in research before going to the store, and then additional time blocking the aisles while there trying to see if a product is safe for me. The addition of a GF tag eliminates this if it truly signifies No Gluten is present. The breakfast food industry is doing a commendable job of alerting consumers to the presence of trace amounts of peanuts that only may potentially be present in their cereals with statements like, 'processed in a facility that also processes peanuts and tree nuts'.
3) I purchase any product that clearly states it is Gluten Free and some that do not have this tag, but only if I have previously contacted the producer and gotten a list of their foods that contain no gluten. Since this is always susceptible to change as they change suppliers, one can never be really sure the product is still GF, so I buy a much smaller percent of these iffy products than the GF ones-say 80% GF vice 20% are probably still GF.
4) If two products are on the shelf with identical ingredient listings, I still get the one that clearly states GF (when lucky enough to have the distinction made!) A simple product that only lists ...tomatoes, vinegar, natural and artifical flavorings... could still pose a threat to me if it doesn't specify the type of vinegar. For example, cider vinegar has no gluten, but vinegar can, and is, made from wheat, which means I can't have that product. Just having the tag GF means I can assume they are using cider vinegar instead of the kind derived from wheat. Thus, I will always buy a product that states it is Gluten Free when such labeling is present on the container.