2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC1413
Submitter : Mrs. Marnie Shreeman Date & Time: 09/20/2005 06:09:38
Organization : Mrs. Marnie Shreeman
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
FDA Docket #2005N-0279

1) gluten free should mean a product has a TOTAL absence of any wheat, barley, rye, oats and any of their derivatives (according to health experts any exposure to gluten even in trace amounts causes serious health detriment...even if no symptoms are felt) If I don't feel a product is TOTALLY FREE from gluten I will absolutely not consume it!

2) I identify foods that do or do not contain gluten by both reading the label and calling the company directly and speaking to a representative. This takes an incredible amount of time and so often reps do not answer me in a way where I really feel a product is safe. Some don't even know what gluten is or they answer in a way that makes me suspect they are guessing. I spend on average 3-4 minutes per call per product I need to check.

3) There are so few gluten-free foods on the market shelves...we have to eat mostly fresh fruits, veggies, & meats. We totally skip the rest of the market isles of processed foods. I assume 5% of what we purchase each week is lableled gluten free. Mostly cookies, snack breakfast bars, cereals, and rice pasta are those gluten free marked items.

4) Yes, gluten free words on a package make me feel totally safe to consume a product; however, just the other day I saw that Crayola's website labeleled certain art supplies as gluten free, but they were only considering the wheat as the gluten (i.e. ignoring the other sources...rye and barley...sometimes cross-contaiminated oats). This worried me, but that was a first. Gluten free words make me happy to buy that product. The words "this product is naturally gluten free" worry me because it seems to be a slick legal way to duck the cross-contamination issue.

5) The only definition of gluten free that is helpful to me would be one in which there was a total absence of gluten in a product.