2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC109
Submitter : Mrs. Gladys Clarke Date & Time: 08/19/2005 09:08:54
Organization : Mrs. Gladys Clarke
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
I am a 55 year old woman who was diagnosed with celiac disease three years ago. In following a gluten-free diet, I find it very helpful when manufacturers label their products 'gluten-free.' Given two similar products, one so-labeled and the other not, I will always buy the one with the label.
In identifying gluten-free products when they are not labeled as such, I spend a considerable amount of time reading the ingredient label closely. Knowing that certain foods contain 'hidden' gluten (soy sauce and modified food starch are two examples), I avoid purchasing items if there is even a question in my mind. I'm sure there have been times when I did not buy a product because of such uncertainty, where labeling would have enabled me to buy with confidence.
Products labeled 'gluten-free' that I buy regularly include cereals, breads, cookies, pasta, and the like.
Wegman's Supermarket has been particularly helpful in this area, labeling their own brand products clearly. As a result I shop there frequently.
Finally, a word about what the labeling means. I would expect that a manufacturer who labels his product 'gluten-free' would consider not only the ingredients, but also the manufacturing process, making sure the equipment used in production is cleaned to prevent cross-contamination. I would further expect the manufacturer to re-examine the labeling on a regular basis, especially when the source of an ingredient or the recipe for a product changes.