2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC193
Submitter : Mrs. Julie Kelly Date & Time: 08/26/2005 07:08:45
Organization : Mrs. Julie Kelly
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1. Gluten free on a food label should mean that there is no trace of wheat, rye barley or oats in the product, taking into account gluten that could have contaminated the food when being processed. In other words, it needs to be made on its own or clean machinery/surfaces.
2. I read the ingredient label of every item of food I purchase, sometimes even if it says gluten free because there is no definition of that yet. It doubles and sometimes triples the time it takes to go grocery shopping. I do not buy things that say "natural flavors" or "hydrolized vegetable protein" because I don't take chances. Having a label will make me sure that these generic terms do not include gluten.
3. I would say about 5% of the food I buy right now is marked gluten free. I buy it at health food store or in the special section of a grocery store. Usually only things that would normally contian gluten are marked gluten-free, like my special waffles, pasta and bread. It would be nice to have ceral, packaged meals/food, prepared food, salad dressings and dips, lunch meats, soups, etc. also labeled gluten free since these often have hidden gluten sources.
4. Having a product marked gluten free definitely makes me buy it because it lets me know that the manufactuer is aware of gluten and celiac disease and they have made sure the product is safe. Just for that extra measure I would buy it unless it were a lot more expensive and it seemed obvious the other product was also safe. It is often hard though to find the words "gluten-free" on a product through all the other words since there is no one place or look for the label.
5. I'm not sure if different levels of a definition would really be useful because to my understanding, not enough research has been done to know if only x amount doesn't cause damage or is x amount doesn't and y amount does. It is all or nothing with us basically since we just don't know what will hurt and what won't. Better safe than sorry.