2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC28
Submitter : Mrs. Mandi Middleton Date & Time: 08/10/2005 03:08:58
Organization : Mrs. Mandi Middleton
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
As the mother of 2 young celiac daughters, I feel that 'gluten free' should mean no gluten ingredients and no possibility of cross contamination (from other ingredients or during processing). My children's futures rest on keeping gluten out of their diet. Their fertility, their stature, their physical and mental well being, basically, their entire mental and physical health rests on decisions we make now. Until definitive research is done on how much gluten will cause intestinal damage, I will aim for zero gluten. This would be easier if products labeled 'gluten free' actually meant that. Not 20 ppm, not 100 ppm. If current tests cannot measure 0 ppm, new tests need to be developed. If products contain 20 ppm, I would like them labeled as 'low gluten' so consumers could make informed choices.
I am sure you are aware of the difficulty we have finding suitable products our children can safely eat. Currently, the only way I could ensure my children were not consuming gluten, is to grow all of our food ourself and never go to a grocery store. This is not a feasible option. Providing safe, nutritious food for your children is one of the most basic aspects of parenting, one most people take for granted. Except for those of us who must deal with a food allergy, intolerance or autoimmune disease. If you do not check ingredients, call manufacturers, question about cross contmination, on everything your child eats, you might be poisoning them. Gluten is poison to my children's bodies. Would it be acceptable to have 20 ppm or 100 ppm of rat posion in something your child ate? Would it be okay if your child's breakfast cereal was processed on the same machinery as rat poison, but it was 'washed' in between the poison and your child's cereal? Would it be acceptable to spray a toxic substance in the same area your child's favorite foods are packaged? The package your child opens today may or may not contain that substance. Would you still allow your child to ingest it? What about your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, the child down the street? Please consider these thoughts as you make your decisions. Thank you.