2005N-0279 Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Public Meeting
FDA Comment Number : EC999
Submitter : Ms. Suzanne Lanoue Date & Time: 09/14/2005 06:09:36
Organization : Ms. Suzanne Lanoue
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
FDA is requesting public comments for
defining and labeling "gluten-free" for food labels, which was recently
published in the Federal Register Vol 70 No.137 Tuesday, July 19, 2005.
The FDA has four main questions that they are trying to address:
1. What should "gluten-free" mean on a food label? Why?

It should mean there is next to no gluten in it, not even trace amounts, or why call it gluten free at all? For those of us who are allergic to wheat, wheat intolerant, gluten intolerant, or have Celiac disease, so we can know what we are eating. How about having various grades, like "gluten- free", "low gluten", etc.

2. How do you identify foods that do not contain gluten? And Time spent
identifying foods?

I am allergic to wheat, rye, and barley, so I look carefully at food labels whenever I shop. I take my chances when I eat any processed foods or eat out. Some people are a lot more allergic than I am, so they have to make everything from scratch and avoid eating out and eating processed foods.

3. What percentage of foods and which types purchased are marked

I have tried a few products that are specifically gluten-free. Most are not very good (except for Pamela's cookies). Otherwise the gluten free food I get is mostly natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats. I would say 80 % of what I eat is gluten-free or wheat-free, but very little is specifically marked that way.

4. Does "gluten-free" printed on a product label influence your decision
to purchase products having the same ingredients? And to what extent?

Yes, definitely, because then I know for sure that it does not contain any gluten, or that the people who packaged it made sure there was no cross- contamination with gluten products.

Thank you! Please do a better job of making sure food companies label ALL our foods, for better health, nutrition, safety, and for allergy awareness.