2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC15
Submitter : Mrs. Laura Gasser Date & Time: 08/05/2005 04:08:38
Organization : Mrs. Laura Gasser
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
As a recently diagnosed celiac patient I was excited to see the FDA looking into the labeling issue surrounding gluten free products. I follow a strict gluten free diet. I never consume gluten knowingly. However, that does not mean that I have not accidently ingested gluten. I become incredibly sick within two hours of the accident. To decrease accidents I currently spend an extra 30 to 40 minutes in reading and researching products to consume. Besides reading labels I reference company websites, call on manufacturers and depend on gluten free product listings. I realize that only a small percentage of the total popultation has this disease. However, the fact that companies are not forth coming with ingredients makes eating time consuming and over time potentially life threatening. My request is simple, clearly label ingredients. If is says natural flavor let me know what this is or is not. Personally, if a product says gluten free I trust this means it does not contain wheat, barley, rye or oats or anything derived from those ingredients. When a manufactor makes the effort to label a product it only makes my life easier. I am more apt to purchase a product that states it is gluten free over one that does not. I also understand that there are issues with cross contamination. For example Frito Lay cleans the lines between production runs. However, they can not guarantee that there may not be residue containing gluten on the line. Knowing this I still choose to purchase there product. I feel Frito Lay (as a company) is forth right in explaining procedures and that they are doing there best to provide me accurate information for the safety of my health. I would like to see the FDA recognize the challenges celiac patients have regarding current food labeling laws. Understand how difficult it is for us to determine what is safe or unsafe. My hope is that the FDA could come up with strict guidelines for gluten as they have for other food allergens. Thank you for taking the time to read my comment. I look forward to the outcome of this public meeting. Laura Gasser