2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC744
Submitter : Ms. Karel Ostrander Date & Time: 09/13/2005 06:09:50
Organization : Ms. Karel Ostrander
Category : Food Industry
Issue Areas/Comments
Docket # 2005N-0279
1) What should "gluten-free" mean on a food label / Why? I know that there is gluten in corn too, but to most of us Celiacs, "gluten-free" means without wheat/rye/oats/barley -- the gluten that makes us sick. Corn ingredients should be listed separately for those allergic to corn.
2) How do you identify foods that don't contain gluten? By very, very carefully reading the labels (even when it says "gluten-free"). Spend about 50% of my food shopping reading labels even if it's a brand I bought before, just to be sure.
3) % of foods and which types are marked "gluten-free"? For what I buy and eat, probably 60% are marked GF--breads, cereals, pancake mix, pasta (noodles), soups, instant meals (dry and frozen), salad dressing, crackers, canadian bacon slices (by Hormel), cookies. The remainder of my diet is meat, eggs, Lactaid milk, fresh/frozen/canned veggies & fruit, almond butter--all very simple stuff, but even there, if I still read all labels in case they put something in the milk or the applesauce can.
4) Does GF printed on the label influence my decision? Yes, but I also always read the label just to make sure they know what they're talking about. Something more recently people are adding is made in an exclusive GF facility, that really makes me feel more "secure", and I'll choose one brand over another if it says that (and the ingredients check okay).

It's not easy being a Celiac. Thank you for your time and efforts to help make labeling easier and more re-assuring for all of us.