2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC984
Submitter : Mrs. Gay Brangle Date & Time: 09/14/2005 06:09:15
Organization : Celiac Sprue Association
Category : Food Industry
Issue Areas/Comments
re: FDA DOCKET #2005N-0279

1) The term "Gluten Free" on products must mean that all ingredients in the product are certified safe for those who have Celiac Disease. I do not trust the manufacturer for future purchases if I get sick from eating the product. It would also diminish my faith in the labeling of any and all products. I hope I can trust the FDA to assure the Celiac consumer that the term "Gluten Free" is not going to be used without verification of the product's safety.

2) No wheat, barley, rye or oats or their derivitives can be present in the product in any amount. Many extremely sensitive people will become ill if wheat, barley, rye or oats are present in the facility where the "Gluten Free" idem is produced which be indicated on the label. I spend a great deal of time reading labels for traces of the forbidden items. If I don't have the time to read closely, I don't bother to buy.

3) The percentage of products that I buy that already have "Gluten Free" marked on the package is about 85% of my sizable groceries. Those items are cereals, crackers, pasta, bread, quick meals (i.e. Thai Kitchen products), and mixes for muffins, cakes, etc. My husband is not a Celiac, but does not mind my foods. I buy his 'regular' bread weekly, but must drive 140 miles at least once a month for Gluten Free bread & cereals.

4) Gluten Free written on the product is a strong positive signal to me as a Celiac consumer since I seldom see that term used on packaging and am not eager to stand in a grocery to read labels a long time. If the manufacturer takes the time and effort to put it on the product, I have to trust that they know what that means to a Celiac consumer! As a Celiac consumer, I appreciate the extra effort to save my time and I pay generously for that product.