2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1041
Submitter : Mrs. Erma Snook Date & Time: 09/20/2005 03:09:16
Organization : Mrs. Erma Snook
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
As a label reader in the extreme, I appreciate your attention in approving the labeling for major allergens. In my case, gluten intolerance causes me to read labels constantly. I usually know what ingredients to look for, but some, like modified food starch is a real restrictor because it may be safe if it's tapioca, corn or rice or potato starch. But if it's wheat, and I don't know for sure I need to avoid this product, sometimes needlessly. Some manufacturers like Kraft Foods, always itemize in parentheses after an ingredient if it contains one of the main allergens or intolerances. So if nothing appears after modified food starch, I know it's safe for me. This is supremely helpful. My husband is allergic to eggs, peas, peanuts, lima beans, and gabanzo beans and is lactose intolerant. SO, we must be very careful when dining out and when purchasing food at the grocers. Anything you can do to help other companies make improved labelling like Kraft Foods without them being so frightened so as to rule out everything from fear of reprisal, would make our lives so much fuller and safer. Also, is there a way to gauge contamination of an allergan or gluten product in a product manufactured on a line where allergens,etc. are sometimes present. Some peanut warnings seem unlikely, but are present on labels, out of fear. For instance a peanut warning on candy corn, or orange slices candy. I know these are present to be safe rather than sorry. Any help you can legislate to nail down this risk without tying the hands of manufacturers completely would be helpful. The bold lettering on labels that indicate presence of major alleragens is very helpful--is that universal in all labeling? That would be important. Another problem I encountered recently is that a long time cereal favorite of mine Malt O Meal Puffed Rice recently started adding wheat to their product. Since I have used this product for years, I never thought to check the change in ingredients. It was by accident as I was reviewing the Nutrition Guide on the box that I spotted the ingredient change. Any special ruling for manufacturers on notifying public someway about changes in recipes?????

Thank you for attending to my concerns and the constraints we face on a daily basis. And I appreciate anything you can do to address any of these problems.

Erma Snook