2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC295
Submitter : Mrs. Mary Emory Date & Time: 09/01/2005 05:09:32
Organization : Mrs. Mary Emory
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
In order to prevent an onset of physical pain and intestinal upset I read all labels of canned, packaged, and frozen foods to determine level of wheat, barley, oats and rye. This is time consuming but worth it. I do not necessarily consider the price. If a product is labeled gluten free, I believe that it should mean just that. If there might be a per centage of gluten, it should say so. I believe that some celiacs can ingest some degree of gluten without major upset. I have made the mistake of purchasing a product labeled 'wheat-free' only to find on a closer look that it contained barley and oats. Labels indicating only 'wheat-free' can be misleading. Gernerally, I do trust the labeling and I do purchase products so labled. I now shop at stores who have a reputation of stocking gluten free products, i,e., Jimbos, Sprouts, Albertsons here in Southern California.

How would you label a product with two or more level definition of gluten-free? You would need a legend, and or universal symbol. I suppose over time, the consumer would learn the different meanings. However, if someone is shopping for a celiac, will they be expected to understand these symbols?

I do hope the food industry will continue to cooperate in this endeavor. It is very very helpful AND it is very frustrating to grocery shop. I now buy less foreign products due to their lack of labeling although the ingredients may be the same. It is not worth the pain and other reactions to eat the 'wrong product' when you have a choice.

Thank you for holding hearings on this issue.