2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC712
Submitter : Ms. laura shipp Date & Time: 09/12/2005 06:09:03
Organization : individual. i am also an r.n.
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
To Whom It May Concern at the FDA,
I am a celiac sufferer and just came back from a trip to Italy to find out how much easier it is to find "gluten free products" and help from the government ( as you know,gluten free products are three to four times more expensive). when i came back to the United States I became sick again. I started to "tooth comb" all the ingredients of the products that I was bying. The resault was disappointing and worry-some. Just to give you an example, I bought a product that claimed to be "gluten free" in big characters in the front of the package. On the back, in small print, it stated that it also contained wheat ( how can, then be gluten free?). obviously it was too much for my body to take because I was sick all night. I understand that the european consider to be "gluten free" a product that contains 0 to 20 ppm of gluten. I tolerated that very well. The products produced in the United States do not seem to be consistent with the percentage of gluten found ( some internet sites state that the usa consider to be gluten free a product having 50 to 100 ppm of gluten. I do not tolerate that much gluten in my diet).
As a nurse, I am also concern for the lack of training done in the hospital to accomodate patients on a gluten free diet. As you probably know, it is not enough to have the correct ingredients but it is also very important to avoid cross contamination with foods containing gluten. For example the gluten is found in the grill and in the objects used in the cooking process. Incidentely, that is,usually ,how celiacs become sick when eating out even when choosing food usually naturally gluten free.
The final concern is in case of disasters and emergencies. I found myself in a dire needs during haircanes in florida where I did not have the electricity to maintain my special cooked foods and the employer (yes, I do work in the hospital) were not prepared to help me with my special need.
FDA is in very special place where you can help celiacs live (litterally) thru this -not so easy- disease.
Thank you for listening
May God guide you always
Laura Matteazzi Shipp