2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1396
Submitter : Mrs. Sylvia Walworth Date & Time: 09/20/2005 06:09:34
Organization : Mrs. Sylvia Walworth
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
To Whom It may concern:
Approximately three years ago, when I was 63, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Subsequent to that my mother (84) and my grandson (12) were also diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Let me start by saying that the delay in my diagnosis and the extreme delay in my mother's diagnosis has resulted in unnecessary medical costs, and pain and injury. The delay in my grandson's diagnosis had led to a erroneous diagnosis ADD and drug treatment for the wrong disorder.
Since we have been diagnosed,all of us have experienced improvements in our health. However, the treatment of this disease i.e. eating gluten- free foods is extremely difficult. Gluten is hidden in many products---vitamins, prescriptions and over- the-counter medications, toothpaste, and most processed foods. With some exceptions, one can not simply look at an ingredients list to ascertain whether a product is gluten-free. Often telephone calls or emails to the manufacturer are required. Sometimes even with these calls, the manufacturer will not provide a definitive answer as to whether or not a product is gluten-free. I can not even tell you how grateful I am to those manufacturers who place the words "gluten-free" on their labels.
Celiac Disease is life threatening. Many secondary disorders are treated, like my mom's osteoporosis, and those treatments fail because the primary cause , that is, the ingestion of gluten is not identified.
Please recognize the importance --the necessity of accurate and detailed food labeling. Please assist persons who are attempting to manage a serious disease with accurate labeling. When I see the words "gluten-free" on a label, I celebrate. Ease our progress toward health with a requirement that products containing gluten are so identified. Thank You, Sylvia Walworth