2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1388
Submitter : Mrs. Dianah Lewis Date & Time: 09/20/2005 06:09:55
Organization : Mrs. Dianah Lewis
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Gluten free on foods should mean no detectable gluten. Also, it would be nice to have variations on that (trace amounts/small amounts) so that I can make an informed decision and 'test' each level on myself to know what my tollerance for gluten might be, since everyone is different. I currently must spend incredible amounts of time in the grocery store looking at labels to go through every single ingredient. I even take my cell phone with me to the store so that I can call manufactures' about questionable ingredients (like modified starch). My grocery shopping time has almost doubled from pre-celiac days. Products that I currently purchase that are marked gluten free are breads, box mixes for quick dinners with my family, flours, asian lunch trays (thai peanut noodles); anything from Con Agra foods is marked if it contains gluten and I just love the time savings.

I am new to celiac, having just been diagnosed with it last year. I am looking forward to changes in labeling that will not require me to search every label and use cell phone minutes to call food manufactures. I buy gluten free because for me it means wellness, safety, and a piece of mind. If two identical products exists and one has gluten free on it while the other just lists the ingredients, I will always buy the one marked gluten free because there are so many hidden sources of gluten. "Gluten Free" means I don't have to worry about eating it, something that is rare for me these days. Can you imagine living in that kind of fear everytime you eat? If you can, I know that you will adopt a policy that will help me shop and eat foods that won't make me sick and won't take an hour to identify on the store shelves. Adopting this labeling could cause food makers to choose different ingredients (corn instead of wheat for example) and open new possiblities for me in a regular grocery store. It is often expensive to order food off the internet ($10 shipping even if you only want one item), so the more items I can find in the grocery store, the better off me and my family will be. Thank you for taking our plight into consideration.