2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC289
Submitter : Mrs. Mary Till Date & Time: 09/01/2005 05:09:24
Organization : CSAceliacs
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Concerning Docket #2005N-0279, I would like to share a few comments. We celiacs have a real problem in food shopping in Alabama, for no or at least very few foods are labeled GLUTEN-FREE in the grocery stores. There are two health food stores in Montgomery, AL. that carry some products which have a GLUTEN-FREE label. Besides GLUTEN-FREE items being more expensive, I have to order many foods from specialty stores like "The Gluten-Free Pantry. For an item to be defined GLUTEN-FREE, there must be no wheat, rye, oats nor barley, and there must be no derivatives from these four grains. For example, in most cereals the ingredient MALT FLAVORING is listed in the ingredient list. MALT is derived from BARLEY and thus is not a GLUTEN-FREE food. Another example is an ingredient listed as HYDROLYZED PROTEIN. The celiac must know whether it is HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN (okay for the celiac) or is HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN (not allowed for the celiac). GLUTEN-FREE should also mean that there are no traces of gluten while the food is being processed for sale. Labeling all food items which qualify with "GLUTEN-FREE" will be an enormous help for the thousands of us who have Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance. Several hours are spent in the grocery store when every label has to be closely examined for foods without gluten. The words "GLUTEN-FREE" will definitely influence my buying a particular food product even though a similar product is on the shelf and is not labeled. I am so hopeful that the Food Allergan Labeling and Consumer Protection Act will follow through and get all our GF foods labeled. You will have many, many thankful people!
Mary Till