2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC154
Submitter : Mrs. Darla McVay Date & Time: 08/24/2005 04:08:18
Organization : Mrs. Darla McVay
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Gluten free on labels should mean food does not contain and is not contaminated with wheat, barley, rye, or oats. I need to be able to trust that, so labeled food, will not make me sick. There needs to be no doubt.

I identify gluten free foods by reading labels and calling manufacturers. this is a very time consuming process, especially when a person is first diagnosed. I have spent many, many hours researching on the internet and making calls. If the ingredients of such items as 'natural flavors' and 'modified food starch' were identified then people could be more confident in their choices.

Only about 1% or less of foods and medicines are labeled as gluten free. Some labeled foods are Hormel Pepperonis, Mission Corn Tortillas and Smart Balance Margarine. One OTC medicine is Walmart brand generic Citrucel. Of course many foods at the health food stores are labeled. Food labels that say no wheat or gluten added leave me wondering if they are gluten free or not.

Yes, gluten free on the label reassures me tht the company has thought through the ingredients enough to confidently label the product gluten free. I will purchase foods labeled 'gluten free'.

I am unsure if levels of gluten free would be helpful. I guess it would give people an option for the level of risk they want to take in consuming gluten. I myself want to know which foods are completely gluten free and safe for me to eat.

With todays food labeling I remain unsure about any product until I have called the manufacturer. Many, many companies are very helpful and have gluten free foods organized into a list. Hersey and Kraft are very vague with ingredient details and have told me just to 'read the label' and if I don't see harmful ingredients listed then they must not be there. This leaves me unsure and skipping over their products.

It could not hurt in any way to have more specific ingredient labeling.