2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC126
Submitter : Mrs. Dorothy Ower Date & Time: 08/22/2005 01:08:22
Organization : Mrs. Dorothy Ower
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1) Gluten free should mean the absence of any gluten bearing products either in composition or in construction of a given product. This would enable individuals diagnosed with Celiac disease, managed only by exclusion of gluten in the diet, to return to normal health and avoid auxiliary diseases and complications from celiac disease.
2) Currently the only means of identifying potential gluten-free foods is to read labels and "guess" on some of the hidden sources of gluten; e.g., hydrolyzed vegetable/plant protein, caramel colorings, modified food starches, etc. Calling manufacturers to confirm product status is valid only in the short-term as products may be reformulated at any time. Currently shopping in local stores takes twice as long and shopping online from specialty sources is extremely expensive and includes shipping charges.
3)Presently in my local area the percentage foods actually labeled gluten-free in less than 1% and the nearest specialty markets (60 miles away) the percentage available is about 5-10%.
4) Gluten-free labeling will always influence my decision to purchase one product over another with similar ingredient listings because such labeling includes some degree of assurance that there is no potential for cross contamination in the production process and that the ingredient listing and product composition has not changed.