2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1240
Submitter : Dr. Bret Snyder Date & Time: 09/20/2005 05:09:21
Organization : Dr. Bret Snyder
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Dear FDA: As a celiac, it is very difficult to determine which foods are gluten free because of the many ambiguous terms in food ingredient lists, such as "natural flavor", "modified food starch", "mono-diglycerides", and because of unknown issues of cross-contamination in production facilities. Therefore, it would be extremely useful for all if a clear standard is established for labeling foods gluten free. I understand that other countries have successfully adopted such standards, and I urge you to follow suit. Scientific studies of reactions to gluten estimate its prevalence at about 1 in 133 in the general population, meaning that over 2 million Americans may benefit from following a gluten-free diet. Although most do not know this, the increasing attention to this relatively well-understood autoimmune disease will undoubtedly make many more people aware of their condition in the future. In our complex industrial society, where the exact provenance and composition of our foods is not easy to determine, a simple labeling standard would benefit everyone. Thank you, Bret Snyder, Ph.D.