Today, the US Federal Drug Administration announced two (small) steps forward in its effort to define gluten free in the retail marketplace. According to the FDA’s website, the agency has reopened the comment period on the proposed gluten free standards originally introduced in 2007. It has also released and is seeking input on a paper about the effect of gluten on the health of those living with celiac disease.
After years of waiting, I am disappointed by this announcement. I was anticipating the final word on gluten free labeling from the federal government. Instead, we were given a statement designed to buy the feds some more time under the guise of consumer feedback.
Consumers desperately need federal standards that will eliminate confusing labels that misrepresent the possible gluten found in foods. Consider those that indicate an item prepared in a facility or on shared equipment where other gluten-containing products are found as gluten free. It is time for the FDA to establish norms in the marketplace for gluten free products as it has for other allergens. I wonder how long gluties will have to wait before we can get the straight facts at the super market. Only with this move from the government will businesses be held accountable for delivering products that keep those of us with celiac disease and other gluten-related illnesses healthy.
Post your comment when the period opens August 3 and urge the FDA to act swiftly in it’s implementation of gluten free labeling that clearly indicates which products are safe for everyone living with a gluten intolerance or allergy.
1. Choose “Submit a Comment” from the top task bar
2. Enter the docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 in the “Keyword” space
3. Select “Search”
To submit your comments to the docket by mail, use the following address:
The Division of Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852 Include docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 on each page of your written comments.