2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC288
Submitter : Mrs. Debbie Kullberg Date & Time: 09/01/2005 05:09:05
Organization : Mrs. Debbie Kullberg
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1) What should "gluten-free" mean on a food lable? Why? Gluten free must mean that there is absolutely no gluten, not even trace amounts. It also must mean that there isn't any cross contamination of gluten. Once it's identified as gluten free the manufacturer can not change the indredients to ones that contain gluten.
2)How do I identify foods that do not contain gluten? Time spent identifying foods? I identify foods that are gluten free by examining the ingredients. Many times that is not good enough. Therefore, I have to call the manufacturer to have them clarify that the product is or is not gluten free. If I am at a family or friends house the time spent identifying foods goes up 1000% because they don't know how to identify what I can eat. Therefore, I have to ask tons of questions before I can eat anything. I spend an additional 1/2 hour in the grocery store reading ingredients to determine if a product is or is not gluten free.
3)What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked "gluten-free"? The percentage of foods that I purchase that actually say gluten- free is about 5%. The only types of products purchased that are clearly marked are the one that I get from a health food store. The percentage in a normal grocery store drops to less than 1%.
4) Does "gluten-free" printed on a product label influence my decision to purchase the product having the same ingredients? To what extent? If the words gluten-free on listed on the product it would make a significant difference in my purchasing that product. I would be more apt to purchase from a manufacturer that lists gluten-free even if another product was the same but didn't list gluten-free. My life would be a lot simpler.

PLEASE start labeling foods as gluten-free so that the thousands of us that can't have gluten can eat more things. At the present time we are missing out on a lot of foods. It really makes it hard to socialize, as well.