2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC927
Submitter : Ms. Thelma Hutchins Date & Time: 09/14/2005 05:09:04
Organization : Ms. Thelma Hutchins
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Gluten-free labeling is essential for celiacs to maintain good health. Having been diagnosed in June 2005, the lack of proper labeling created weeks of additional illness. Since very few products (less than one percent) actually indicate that they are gluten-free. Such phrases as "modified food starch" and "natural and artificial flavors" masked ingredients that made me extremely ill, and delayed my recovery for weeks. It was not until I subscribed to a service that issued lists of brand name ingredients that were safe that I actually began to recover. It takes me at least two hours longer to shop each week because of the need to read ingredients. The fact that something was safe last week does not mean that it is safe this week, because manufacturers change ingredients frequently. In addition, many of them refuse to guarantee any ingredients gluten free, so one must adhere to the motto: "when in doubt, leave it out." This disease has no cure and no medication. The only way to live a healthy life is to omit gluten. It should be the responsibility of the food industry and the drug industry to clearly label all products, so that we can feel safe and stay healthy.