2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC697
Submitter : Mrs. Sharon Bryan Date & Time: 09/12/2005 06:09:13
Organization : Mrs. Sharon Bryan
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
What should 'gluten-gree' mean on a food label?
There is absolutely no gluten in any form, not even a trace, contained in the food product or as a result of the product coming in contact with gluten containing food items or utensils during processing. Why? Any trace of gluten can cause serious health issues.

How do you identify foods that do not contain gluten?
Reading the ingredients of the label, even when the label indicates 'gluten-free' as well as by comparing with other Celiacs knowledge of products. Time spent identifying foods? A lot..reading each ingredient on each label can be very time consuming.

What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked 'gluten-free'?
Everything purchased has to be gluten-free for the reasons listed above, no matter the type.

Does 'gluten-free' printed on a product label influence your decision to purchase products having the same ingredients?
"Gluten-free" on the label certainly draws ones attention to that product initially and, if the ingredients prove out that the item is indeed gluten- free, then that would be the item of choice. To what extent? Unless an unlabeled item has proven to be gluten-free I would not purchase it even though it may taste better or cost less. The damage to ones health is not worth the risk.

Would you consider a two or more level definition of gluten-free helpful?
If items labeled 'gluten-free' are not totally gluten-free, then they damage a Celiac's health just the same as something that is not gluten-free at all. If products contain trace or small amounts of gluten, then they are not gluten-free and should not be labeled as such. A Celiac can not have a 'trace' or a 'small amount' of gluten without damage being done to the body. It is an all or nothing situation ~ like being pregnant...one cannot be a 'little bit' pregnant ~ either you are or you aren't. The same is true of gluten for a Celiac...either the product is 'gluten-free' or it is not.