2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC37
Submitter : Mrs. Dawn Swanson Date & Time: 08/15/2005 05:08:14
Organization : Mrs. Dawn Swanson
Category : Food Industry
Issue Areas/Comments
Products should clearly identify if they are gluten free. Gluten free should mean there is no trace of gluten (wheat, rye, barley or oats) in the product because those with celiac disease, including myself, my daughter and grandaughter, can become very ill and can life threatening impacts such as liver or kidney dieases or cancer. A recent study found that 1 our of 160 people have celiac disease and many are unaware. If a person has digestive issues, it is 1 out of 58 and if they have a close relative with celiac, it is 1 out of 22. Today, when I buy any packaged food, I must carefully read the label to see if there could be any gluten, including things such as soy sauce and many other derivatives of gluten. This is a very time consuming process, up to 5 minutes per product. Even then, I am not assured it was not manufactured or packed in a gluten free environment. Consequently, I often buy the same 'safe' products and do not try new ones. There are very few, probably 1% of products that state they are gluten free. I primarily buy only products that clearly state they are gluten free because I know they do not only do not include gluten as ingredient, but they were not packaged or manufactured with gluten. Please support legislation to clearly label gluten to support the risks of eating gluten for the growing number of people being tested and diagnosed with celiac disease. Thank you.