2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC784
Submitter : Mrs. Marcia Gymer Date & Time: 09/13/2005 06:09:58
Organization : CSA
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Gluten-free food should be free of gluten and cross contamination. The reason for this is people with celiac disease get sick from gluten and cross contamination from contact internally or externally.
I identify gluten containing foods either by brands that I have a list of or by reading ingredients on the label. The ingredients doesn't always cover the derivatives, cross contamination or processing information I need. I spend as much as 5 or 10 mins. checking labels to decide if it safe or not.
Less than 5% of the food labels in a regular grocery store are marked gluten-free. Specialty grocery stores have labels that are probably 80% labeled gluten-free. However, rural areas do not have the availability of special stores. "Our" flours can be cross contaminated as well as the cakes, cookies, breads,baking mixes, cereals, and etc. We cannot tell without that information.
I will always buy a product that is marked gluten-free over one like it that isn't marked, in case there is a cross-contamination that I'm not aware of. It isn't just food that can be a problem for celiacs. Vitamin supplements, beauty care items, soaps etc. can be a problem for celiacs.
For me, my food is supposed to be gluten-free. The doctor did not give me any leeway for a percentage of gluten that is allowed. Therefor, there would have to be some kind of guidelines given out by the medical people that would give us the appropriate guidelines for the percentage of gluten that we can have.