Spot a labeled gluten-free food that’s misbranded? Here’s what to do
The FDA has issued an interim response to Gluten Free Watchdog’s petition requesting that the agency establish a specific protocol for increased surveillance, investigation and enforcement of potential facial misbranding violations under the gluten-free labeling rule. The agency response reads in part, “…we have not reached a decision on your petition within the first 180 days due to competing priorities. However, be advised that your petition is currently under active evaluation by our staff.”
At Gluten Free Watchdog, Kaki and I will be giving the FDA what we believe to be a reasonable amount of time (until the end of April) to get back to us with additional information on the status of our petition. If the agency continues to delay their decision, we will begin exploring other options.
In the meantime, it is important for all of us to document potential misbranding violations. Please do the following if you come across a product either in the store or after purchase that you believe is misbranded:
- Take photos of the label that clearly show:
- Product name
- Gluten-free claim
- Ingredients list
- Contains statement if present
- Wording about gluten-free status printed after the Contains statement
- The sell by/best by/use by/expiration date
- Lot number
- UPC code (very important to photograph)
- Send the photos to me (Tricia) at firstname.lastname@example.org
- In your email include the name of the store and its location
- Contact an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator using the list available at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/
- Chronicle your experience with the FDA—Did someone answer the phone? Did you leave a message? Did someone call you back? Were you satisfied with the exchange?
- Contact me (Tricia) again and let me know about your experience with FDA. If you decided not to call the Agency, let me know that too!