2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC46
Submitter : Mr. douglas polley Date & Time: 08/15/2005 05:08:44
Organization : Mr. douglas polley
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
RE: What should "gluten-free" mean on a food label: This should indicate that all ingredients are free of gluten and that the facility takes steps to prevent cross contamination from other foods containing gluten. If products use ingredients that cannot be identified as gluten-free then these products should not be labeled gluten-free. If cross contamination cannot be guarenteed the label should identify what steps are taken to reduce the risk of cross contamination, i.e. 'manufacturing lines are washed before making producing the product in question'. The effects of gluten on those with Celiac Sprue can be very harmful and consumers need this information to avoid these medical complications.

I do read all labels loking for "gluten-free" labeling and would be further reassured if there were a common standard for the use of this terminology. I also use the Web to search manufacturers' web sites to find which products they identify as gluten-free (irrespactive of the product labeling). Labeling requirements should also apply to web sites. If the producer avoids using the label "gluten-free" on the product but then suggests that the product is gluten-free on a web site this would be a problem.

I think about 20% of the products i currently purchase are labeled gluten-free. Another 20-30% are indicated as gluten-free on company web sites or publications of various Celiac support groups. Other purchases (meats, milk, etc.) are naturally gluten-free. I make a concerted effort to avoid glutne in all products i purchase.

The label "gluten-free" is a major deciding factor when distinguishing products for purchase. I will not purchase product that i cannot verify as gluten free.