2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC64
Submitter : Mrs. Donna Naylor Date & Time: 08/16/2005 05:08:41
Organization : Mrs. Donna Naylor
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1. Gluten-free should mean free of wheat, rye, barley, and oats or their derivatives, as well as of any cross-contamination. When I see gluten-free on a label, I should feel that this product is safe for me to consume without risk of damage to my body.
2. I must read every ingredient on a label to assure myself that a product is safe. In most cases I will not purchase such a product unless I have called the company directly. (This is extremely time-consuming and must be repeated from time to time as companies change their ingredients or suppliers.) My weekly shopping trip now averages twice the normal time unless I am only purchasing fresh products or ones already labeled gluten-free.
3. I would estimate that no more than 10% of the products out there are labeled gluten-free. There are now more products made specifically for celiacs and marked accordingly, such as pastas, breads, cereals, and cookies. Also, there are some mainstream companies such as Wegman's, Thai Kitchens, and Kozy Shack that have already labeled their brand products such as salad dressings, sauces, yogurts, puddings, and rice mixes, etc.
4. If a product is labeled gluten-free, I am certainly more likely to purchase it than one that has the same ingredients but is not marked gluten- free. When I see gluten-free on a product, I trust I can safely consume the product without having to consider cross-contamination issues. Just because a product has the same ingredients, it does not mean there is no cross-contamination. It also does not mean that there aren't hidden ingredients, especially in flavorings and colorings.