2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC278
Submitter : Mrs. Naomi Rymer Date & Time: 09/01/2005 05:09:13
Organization : Mrs. Naomi Rymer
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Dear FDA Officers:

This is my response to your questions concerning FDA Docket #2005N-0279.

1. "Gluten-free" on a label must mean that the product is totally free from wheat, rye and barley gluten. When celiacs ingest these glutens they harm their small intestine and may eventually destroy it.

2. I identify gluten containing foods by reading labels and calling companies. Reading labels is very time consuming and can be misleading. Terms such as Natural Flavoring could contain gluten when not specified. Companies change their ingredients frequently so about every six months, I need to call to determine if the product is still safe. Much time is involved.

3. About 1% of food purchased in a supermarket is labeled "gluten-free;" in a health or natural food store it is about 60%.

4. When "gluten-free" is on the label, I will buy that product EVERYTIME over one that contains the same ingredients but is not labeled "gluten- free."

I want to thank you for revising the labeling of products - it should mean that the food I will buy is safe for me to eat instead of my playing "gluten roulette." It should also make it safer to eat out because often the chef cannot determine if the product contains gluten.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not go to leveling. Gluten hurts us even in tiny amounts and would defeat the labeling process!!

Thank you,
Naomi Rymer