2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC316
Submitter : Mrs. Andrea McFall Date & Time: 09/09/2005 05:09:20
Organization : Mrs. Andrea McFall
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Docket: 2005N-0279 Food Labeling: Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods

I would like to make sure gluten-free means zero gluten (or the levels that scientists have recently proven is safe - ie: "x" parts per million) without the chance of cross contamination. It would also be convenient to see the words "Contains Gluten" printed on the package if gluten is a direct ingredient, hidden in one of the other ingredients, or used in the processing and production of the food.

I spend at least 2 to three minutes per item that I purchase reading every single ingredient, unless it says "gluten-free") When you total this up, an average shopping trip can take an extra 30-45 minutes per week. Not to mention the fact that I can rarely buy the "no-name" brand of items. Many times, these are items which most likely are gluten-free, but, the no-name brands often have no phone number to contact regarding the gluten status.

Fortunatley for us in the Buffalo, New York area, we have a wonderful supermarket (Wegman's) that labels their food if it is gluten-free. If I shop at Wegman's, I would say 50% of the items I purchase are marked "gluten-free." However, if I shop at our other major chains, only about 1% of the items I purchase are marked "gluten-free".

When an item is marked "gluten-free', it definitely influences my decision to purchase the item when I compare it to another item. Even if they are two comparable items and the one marked "gluten-free" is more expensive, I will purchase the one marked GF.