2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC133
Submitter : Mr. Mazen Khattab Date & Time: 08/22/2005 01:08:17
Organization : Mr. Mazen Khattab
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments

1) What should ?gluten-free? mean on a food label? Why?
No Wheat, Barley, Rye, or Oats in ingredients, by contamination, or contact. Because current research recommends zero tolerance diet towards these items for Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis patients.

2) How do you identify foods that do not contain gluten? Time spent identifying foods?
Read the labels, research on line, read in CSACELIACS product listing book. It takes about 3-30 mins. Sometimes I can not findout in reasonable time, so I end up skipping a meal or not buying the item.

3) What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked ?gluten-free??
10%. Very few products are labled ?gluten-free? nowadays! Most are way more expensive than the established brands that don't put the label.

4) Does ?gluten-free? printed on a product label influence your decision to purchase products having the same ingredients? To what extent?
Yes! It would be very helpful. For example, it saves me and my friends embarrasing moments when inviting me over. The current labels are cryptic: one has to learn a lot of jargon to decode them to know whether it is safe to eat or not. Pick any salad dressing and see for yourself.

Finally, I think it is a discrimination against people with the above mentioned conditions not to label foods whether they are or aren't "Gluten Free".