2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1357
Submitter : Mr. John Mazurek Date & Time: 09/20/2005 05:09:29
Organization : Mr. John Mazurek
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Docket 2005N-0279 - Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting

1) Gluten free should mean the absence of any wheat, barley, oats, rye, and any of their derivatives. As some celiacs have more/less tolerance to one or all of these ingredients, it is better to be safe and use an all-encompassing definition for "gluten-free" in this instance. The point of adding "gluten-free" to the packaging is to avoid having to read the ingredient label when purchasing an item. If "gluten-free" is to mean something other than the above definition, it defeats the purpose of displaying the words, as the consumer would need to, once again, review the ingredient label at length.

2) We look for food packaging that says "gluten-free" when purchasing. We have spent considerable amounts of time reviewing ingredient labels, and are familiar with them. However, the companies that have begun labeling their food "gluten-free" have made our lives quite a bit easier, and therefore, we tend to utilize their products more often.

3) Very few foods in the mass-market grocery stores are labeled gluten-free (although they are). We tend to shop at different stores to pick up different items (as well as shop online).

4) As mentioned in #2, we definitely purchase products with the label "gluten-free" more often than those without. However, as we have had to do significant research to locate gluten free products, there are several products without the label which we continue to purchase as we know these are gluten-free.

5) A definition with various levels may be helpful for adults who know their body and can determine if "traces per million" affect their diet. However, as a parent, I will only allow my child to eat items entirely gluten-free. Therefore, the levels would be informative, but not yet useful for my family.