2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC541
Submitter : Mrs. Melanie Psaltakis Date & Time: 09/09/2005 06:09:59
Organization : Mrs. Melanie Psaltakis
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Dear FDA:

We encourage you to adopt a regulation on the use of "gluten-free" on product labels that is in line with that which has been used in Europe and other countries (including the USA via the Codex Alimentarius) for many years--20 PPM for products that contain naturally gluten-free ingredients, and 200 PPM for products that have been rendered gluten-free such as those that may contain Codex Alimentarius quality wheat starch. The formal adoption of these existing regulations will allow for the continued importation of excellent, safe European products that are labeled "gluten-free."

I currently spend on average 2 hours for a weekly grocery shopping trip, as well as additional time ordering gluten free products online, researching products via a company's website, and actually contacting companies to inquire if a particular product is gluten free. I am very brand loyal to those companies that state an item is gluten free, even though that item can be more expensive than comparable products.

A lot of my shopping time is spent reading labels, looking for words that alert me to the possibility of gluten in the product. I particularly look for products that are already being labeled with the top 8 allergens, though I know this is not a guarantee of being gluten free.

The fact that a product label has the words "gluten free" on it greatly influences my decision whether or not to purchase the product. Sometimes I will buy the product even if I don't need it at the time, just because it is gluten free.

I currently reside in Italy as the spouse of an active duty military member. Even though a commissary exists on base, I do some of my shopping on the local economy because I can obtain gluten free products at the pharmacies. There is a wide selection of quality European products, including pasta, pizza crusts, bread sticks, and cookies. I cannot obtain any of these products on base.

Please do all you can to ensure food safety for all people who must eliminate gluten from their diets.

Thank you,
Melanie Psaltakis