2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC909
Submitter : Ms. Dawn Guthmiller Date & Time: 09/14/2005 05:09:44
Organization : Ms. Dawn Guthmiller
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Docket # 2005N-0279

1) What should ?gluten-free? mean on a food label? Why?
Gluten-free on a food label should mean that the food meets the requirements set to be qualified as gluten free (<?x? ppm). A food that does not meet these criteria but is labeled gluten free can be consumed by someone with Celiac disease and they can suffer ill affects from it. If a food item is labeled ?gluten-free? I do not even check the ingredients. Low gluten and gluten-free are very different for someone suffering with Celiac disease.

2) How do you identify foods that do not contain gluten? Time spent identifying foods?
I identify foods that contain gluten by reading the product labels. I also have contacted different grocery stores, restaurants, and food suppliers (Kraft, Coke, General Mills, etc.) and asked them if they have a list of their gluten-free products. I spend 3-4 hours each week reviewing labels and contacting companies to see if their product is gluten-free. My biggest frustration is with the questionable items. If a product says Modified Food Starch and I don?t know what kind of starch it is, I will simply not buy it. If it is specific to say Modified Corn Starch, I am very grateful and buy the product.

3) What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked ?gluten-free??
A very small percentage of foods that I purchase are marked gluten free ? less than 5%. They types of foods that are marked gluten free are health foods that I obtain in the specialty section of the grocery store or at a health food store.

4) Does ?gluten-free? printed on a product label influence your decision to purchase products having the same ingredients? To what extent?
If two products are on a shelf with the same ingredients and one says gluten-free, I will purchase the gluten-free product. Gluten-free printed on a product label will strongly influence my decision to purchase that product.

5) Would you consider a two or more level definition of gluten-free helpful?
No ? I want to know if a product is gluten-free or not. If it is not, I will not purchase it.