2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC961
Submitter : Mrs. Tarenda Vaughn Date & Time: 09/14/2005 06:09:28
Organization : Mrs. Tarenda Vaughn
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to comment on the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, Docket No. 2005N-0279. I was diagnosed with celiac disease four years ago, and have spent countless hours researching and calling manufacurers to determine what I can safely eat. Sometimes I take my cell phone to the grocery and call from the aisles because the labels can be so unclear, and that could take hours for one shopping trip. I research websites for restaurants, call ahead to speak with the chef and even have to research any prescription or over the counter medications I take. There are many questionable ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, modified food starch, natural or artifical flavors, and several others that I must eliminate from my diet unless I call the each manufacturer. I challenge you to read every label on a shopping trip, just for these few ingredients. I am willing to live by this diet, but it could be so much simpler if labels included the information I need, and would save newly diagnosed celiacs from dealing with an enormous learning curve. In fact, I have eliminated many foods from my diet because I despise calling manufactures, and would rather give up questionable foods. None of my family members can cook for me because it would take hours just to learn to shop. Since celiacs get sick from even a molecule, glulten-free must mean 100% free of gluten. Few of the products I buy are marked gluten free, so I read every label, every time I shop. I urge the FDA to greatly improve the quality of life of all celiacs by requiring better food labeling. Thank you for considering this life-changing legislation.
Tarenda S. Vaughn