2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC47
Submitter : Mr. Kenneth Heinze Date & Time: 08/15/2005 05:08:54
Organization : Mr. Kenneth Heinze
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1. Gluten-free should mean the product does not contain wheat, oats, barley or rye. This would enable people who have Celiac Spru to know that it would be safe for them to purchase this product and not endanger their health. It would also not be necessary for them to have to read the ingredients (which are sometimes hard to read) on every product label.
2. I currently identify foods that do not contain gluten by reading the labels or by trusting that product lists of safe foods to eat are accurate. It takes a lot of my time to have to read labels in stores. This can easily amount to adding 30 to 60 minutes to each shopping trip.
3. I would estimate that only about 5% of the foods I purchase are marked gluten free. This small percentage is usually found in the health foods section of a store or at a Nutrition store. These would be breads, cereals, flours, pasta, cookies, crackers, snacks...
4. The words "gluten-free" greatly influence my decision to purchase products that are so marked. I would not question buying a product that was marked gluten free.
Note: Some progress is being made with labeling products but there is room for much more to be done. There are many more people who have gluten intolerances that have not been diagnosed by doctors so having the manufacturers label their products as gluten free would help improve the health of countless people. Also, manufacturers are constantly changing the ingredients in their products so this would help identify a product that was originally gluten free but is no longer gluten free.
Anything the FDA could do in this regard would be greatly appreciated.