In its quest for more information on gluten-free labeling, the Food and Drug Administration wants to find out about consumer perceptions about different gluten-related terms. Presumably this is one step toward the panel making a decision on voluntary gluten-free labeling in this country.  This post not only gives you the FDA’s update, but I’ve done the work for you to find the exact place where you can comment to the government (see below).

FDA’s Gluten-Free Labeling of Food Products Experimental Study

According to the FDA’s public notice about this study that came out March 6th, the agency wants to…

“…gauge perceptions of characteristics related to claims of ‘gluten-free’ and allowed variants (e.g., ‘free of gluten’, ‘without gluten’, ‘no gluten’), in addition to other types of statements (e.g., ‘made in a gluten-free facility’ or ‘not made in a facility that process gluten-containing foods’) on the food label.”

“The study will also assess consumer understanding of ‘gluten-free’ claims on foods that are naturally free of gluten, and gauge consumer reaction to a product carrying a gluten claim concurrently with a statement about the amount of gluten the product contains.”

It appears the FDA is not soliciting volunteers for this study. The notification says the data will be collected over the internet from “…a membership list from a celiac disease special interest organization” and “…an online consumer panel”. The FDA wants feedback from people who are gluten-free savvy and the “regular consumer”.

The notice does ask for online comments at the web address linked here.  It took me about 10 minutes to find the actual area where you can comment.   So that second link should save you some time.

The results of this study could be very interesting! I look forward to finding out more.

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