2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1304
Submitter : Ms. Tammy Wells Date & Time: 09/20/2005 05:09:33
Organization : Ms. Tammy Wells
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
I have celiac disease, and am very hopeful that the FDA will take steps to clearly define "gluten free" and require food manufacturers to label their products accordingly. It only takes one molecule of gluten to trigger an autoimmune response in my body, causing me to run fevers and have stomach issues. Each exposure to gluten increases my risk for lymphoma, which is a cancer associated with continued gluten exposure when you have celiac disease.

Gluten Free on a label should mean that the product is unquestionably gluten free - no chance of cross contamination - remember, only one molecule can trigger a response in celiac disease.

Currently, I read every label on every product I purchase, and still get sick from products which do not disclose any gluten containing ingredients. I have spent the past 4 years since my diagnosis learning what additives, preservatives and other ingredients are made from grains. There is an exhaustive list. And, I am still in the learning process! I spend hours per week just shopping for the foods I need to stay healthy.

I purchase only organic fresh fruits and vegetables, and search for organic foods that are canned. I always look for the gluten free label on packaged foods that I purchase, but have still suffered from sickness due to cross contamination.

I cannot tell you how much it would mean to me and others with celiac disease to have all foods disclose what their ingredients are made from, and if they are truly gluten free.

Thank you for your support!
Tammy Wells