2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1310
Submitter : Mrs. Elizabeth Bell Date & Time: 09/20/2005 05:09:44
Organization : Mrs. Elizabeth Bell
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Docket# 2005N-0279
What should "gluten-free" mean on a food label and why? Gluten-free should mean that the product has been processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility and does not contain any grains or products from grains that contain gluten or have been harvested/processed with grains that contain gluten.
Because it would then ensure that the food/product did not contain or was exposed to gluten which is what aggravates the problems associated with Celiac Disease/Dermatitisherpetiformis.

To Identify foods that do not contain gluten requires a lot of time reading food content labels every time I go to the grocery store. Food manufacturers
will change their formulas at anytime and begin using an ingredient that was
derived from a gluten containing grain. It probably takes me twice as long to
get thru the grocery store reading/scanning the ingredient labels. Also, I tend to not purchase items that have a very long list of ingregients, simply
because I might miss the listed ingredient that would contain gluten.
Grocery shopping is frustrating, and requires trips to several stores or internet shopping to ensure that I am getting items that are gluten free.

The percentage of foods and types purchased that are marked "gluten-free",
40-50%. I am assuming that the meat I purchase does not contain gluten.
The 95% of the cereals,baking mixes, cornmeal, yeast, flavorings, spices,
and other items used for baking are marked gluten free.
I read the labels for frozen vegetables, potatoes (some have coatings), and
Icecream, softdrinks, drink mixes, spices etc. It would be great to go into
a store and just glance at the front label of the item for the gluten free
designation as opposed to spending the time to read the ingredient label.

Items marked "GLUTEN-FREE" on the label does influence my decision on which
product to purchase, it takes the guess work out of shopping and you feel
more secure/safe when consuming the product.

Friends and family members do not purchase food for me, they are unsure what
to look for or even what contains gluten. I have friends who think that
donuts are ok but chocolate or nuts are taboo. Items with the "hidden gluten"
shouldn't be a guessing game, not for me or family. I have greatly appreciated the companies that have identified their source of modified food starch....it made all the difference in whether I purchased the item or not.

Food allergen labeling should be required not only for gluten, but for
peanuts, soy, corn, and any other allergens that cause problems and a
restrictive life for the consumer with the problem(s), their family and