2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1021
Submitter : Dr. Arnold Rosenberg Date & Time: 09/20/2005 03:09:16
Organization : Dr. Arnold Rosenberg
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
I was diagnosed with celiac disease roughly six years ago. Since then, when my wife and/or I shop for foodstuffs and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, we spend a significant fraction of our time reading labels, to determine whether or not the product contains gluten. Regrettably, many labels are too vague to permit this determination (which means, of course, that I stay away from that product). Additionally, many labels are written in print that cannot be read without a magnifying glass. We find that generic foods and OTC drugs are particularly deficient in this respect --- which means that we must often spend extra money to buy national brands, which tend to be more clearly labeled. A mandate for clear labeling would be a boon to all of us who suffer from celiac disease. I strongly support mandating such labeling. It would be particularly useful to have notations such as 'Contains gluten' or 'Gluten-free' displayed prominently on labels. I already preferentially buy foods that are labeled 'Gluten- free,' and I would continue to do so were such labeling more common. Because of my particular variety of Celiac disease, I would find it VERY useful to have labels of the form 'at most x parts per million of gluten' that indicated the existence of only trace amounts of gluten. (I could actually consume such foods occasionally.) Thank you for your attention.