2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC870
Submitter : Mrs. Marsha Grant Date & Time: 09/14/2005 05:09:21
Organization : Mrs. Marsha Grant
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
1) For me, 'gluten free' needs to mean that a product contains no wheat, rye, barley or oats, or any of their derivatives. No one seems to know if there is a safe minimum for these products for those with celiac desease, so I want to know that there is none (or as close to none as is possible). I know that the Canadians have a much stricter yardstick for measuring a safe amount for celiacs, so maybe the FDA needs to look at their standards. Eliminating gluten from my diet transformed my health and life, so this is important to me.

2) I identify foods that do not contain gluten by reading labels. I have educated myself a lot on chemical additives as well as natural additives and look for key words. If a product contains modified food starch, for instance, but does not contain the source (wheat, corn, etc), I don't buy it. There may be a lot of safe foods out there that we don't eat because of inadequate labeling. I spend less time identifying foods now than I did when I was new at this three years ago. If a product is labeled 'gluten free', I will usually try it.

3) The products that I buy which are marked 'gluten free' are things like crackers, cereals, pasta, flours, bread and cookie mixes,and snacks(chips,etc).
Of those products, probably about half are labeled 'gluten free'. The rest I determine to purchase by reading the label and hope there is no cross- contamination with gluten in manufacturing. The rest of the food we eat(most of it really) is naturally gluten free, such as meat, vegetables, fruit, and dairy.

4) Yes, I will purchase products with the same ingredients as known 'gluten free' products. However, that does not guarantee that cross- contamination has not occurred during manufacture. It is helpful to have it printed on the label if something is manufactured in the same facility with wheat or some other gluten containing food.

5) If a food is labeled 'gluten free' then I want to be comfortable that it is as gluten free as possible. I'm not in favor of 'degrees' of gluten free on a label.