2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC709
Submitter : Mrs. Carol Wanke Date & Time: 09/12/2005 06:09:17
Organization : Mrs. Carol Wanke
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1) Gluten free labeling should mean the absence of all wheat, barley, malt, and rye grains or derivatives. This information assures me, the consumer, that there are no 'hidden' glutens. Even trace amounts must be identified and not considered gluten-free.
2) I must be able to identify whether the vinegar used in a product is cider, rice, corn or grain based. Often this requires a phone call to the manufacturer, if I am able to obtain a phone number. Also, ingredients labeled modified food starch, stabilizers, maltodextrin, artificial flavors, carmel coloring may all be suspect until verified as safe. This process of inquiry can take hours of research by phone or internet. I have compiled my own grocery list as I determine which products are safe. I always read labels!
3) Perhaps 1% of the food products I buy are currently labeled gluten free. Cereals found in health food stores are sometimes labeled gluten free. Some snack foods(rice bars, cookies, crackers), Hormel pepperoni, Misson corn tortillas are found in the regular grocery store.
4) Absolutely, gluten free labeling influences my decision to purchase a product having the same ingredients as another label! Even products such as tomato sauce, chicken broth or peanut butter I will choose brands based on the label marked gluten free.
4b) Labeling is a HUGE issue for those people who are gluten intolerant. It is very difficult to know all the possible names for gluten grains and derivatives, impossible with general terms like 'modified food starch'. The motto is, 'If in doubt, leave it out'! Therefore, as I shop I bypass many foods and manufacturer's products with questionable ingredients. Please help us out by very specific labeling and gluten free identification.
Thank you for considering this very important labeling issue.