2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC321
Submitter : Ms. Rhonda Schultz Date & Time: 09/09/2005 05:09:38
Organization : Ms. Rhonda Schultz
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Please consider my input on the Food Allergen Labeling & Consumer Protection act for the FDA to define Gluten-Free, Docket # 2005N-0279

1) What should gluten-free mean on a food label?
The product contains NO: wheat, barley, rye, oats, as well as, any of their derivatives.
Why? I know it is safe for me to eat.

2) How do you identify foods that do not contain gluten? Reading all labels, any terms I'm not sure about I look up in my notes. Any ingredient that is questionable I choose NOT to purchase that product.

Time spent identifying foods? A normal shopping trip is 1-2 hours vs. one half hour to 1 hour before diagnosed with Celiac Sprue Disease.

3) What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked gluten-free? 98%, although I am the only person with CD in my family, the whole family adheres to my diet with the exception of bread products. (I am not including foods that are naturally GF, such as fresh fruits & vegetables.) This has greatly increased our food budget, but compared to the incredibly huge increase in my health, since diagnosis and following this diet, it has been worthwhile. Preparing GF food with non-GF food is a problem with cross-contamination so we have chosen to change the family diet.

4) Does gluten-free printed on a product label influence your decision to purchase products having the same ingredients? YES!

To what extent? I will purchase the product that says 'GF' vs. a product that does not; even if the ingredient listing is the same. This gives me assurance that the manufacturer is adhering to CSA's guidelines and it gives me peace of mind that I will not have any physical reaction to the food I'm buying and eating.

5) Would you consider a two or more level definition of gluten-free helpful? YES! At this point, any definition that is clear to understand will help me adhere to my diet and stay healthy. It will also help me emotionally since having CD is at times very frustrating. It would also help my extended family & friends who would like to prepare foods that I can eat on occasion.