2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC120
Submitter : Mrs. Ruth Weiss Date & Time: 08/19/2005 09:08:08
Organization : Mrs. Ruth Weiss
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
A gluten free label should mean there are no ingredients containing any form of wheat, barley, or rye in any amount. Any amount of these ingredients can make a celiac patient sick. If a product isn't clearly labeled, I must read ingredients and call manufacturers for any questionable items such as artificial & natural flavors, modified food starch, carmel color. In the last siz months since I've been diagnosed I've spent countless hours on a weekly basis researching foods and or ingredients. I'd estimate that 10-15% of the foods I buy are clearly marked "gluten free." Clearly labeled gluten free products are usually available only in health food stores or on gluten free websites. Products clearly labeled as "gluten free" are my first choice since I can be assured they are safe. I'm much more likely to purchase something clearly marked as "gluten free" over the same item (with the same ingredients) which is not marked as such. There's always the possibility that even if the ingredients are okay, the machinery that the product was processed on had traces of wheat, etc. Every drink, ingredient, sauce, snack, dressing, etc. must be checked before I am able to consume it safely. Eating in other people's homes, at restaurants, social gatherings, catered affairs are always complicated. Considering the large population of people with Celiac's disease, the extra effort necessary for properly labeling products is certainly warranted.