I just contacted the Senior Public Affairs Specialist from the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition branch of the FDA. I asked her for any information the FDA had regarding gluten in cosmetics. She replied (quickly) with the following response.
Dear Ms. Krull: Cosmetics will not require the gluten free labeling and do not conform to the allergen labeling required for foods. As of January 1, 2008, gluten labeling will be on most foods. We do not keep a listing of cosmetic ingredients or manufacturers and their individual products or product lines
Great news for the food. Many of you with gluten sensitivities have probably been keeping track of this issue for some time now. January is right around the corner!! However, for cosmetics and personal care items, it is still up to the folks "in the trenches" to find their own way. In my search through the FDA, I did see several dockets listed (from consumers appealing to the FDA about labeling) that mentioned gluten concerns about personal care products. It seems that perhaps I need to add my own letter to their list. If you are wanting to write a letter to the FDA expressing your concerns about gluten labeling in cosmetics and personal care products, here is some contact info.
Jeannine Ertter, A.S.C.P.Senior Public Affairs Specialist
Outreach and Communication Branch
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Outreach and Information Center
5100 Paint Branch Parkway HFS-555
College Park, MD 20740-3835
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I was hopeful for a bit more, but at least we know for sure where the FDA stands (and apparently, nothing is in the works). Hopefully, there will be something more standardized in the future.
Until then, I'll keep checking :)