Health

FDA Reconsiders Standard for 'Healthy' Claim

The FDA will re-evaluate its regulations concerning nutritional content claims, including the use of the term “healthy.”

Oct. 13, 2016
By Wendy Logan

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Over the past sev­eral years, Wash­ing­ton attor­ney Creighton Chip” Magid has estab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion for tak­ing the FDA to task over some ques­tion­able poli­cies.

A part­ner at the inter­na­tional law firm Dorsey & Whit­ney and head of its Wash­ing­ton D.C. office, Magid works with clients to reduce their lia­bil­ity risks and help them nav­i­gate the fed­eral reg­u­la­tory sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly in con­nec­tion with the U.S. Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Com­mis­sion.

In a recent rever­sal by the FDA, a warn­ing label require­ment for prod­ucts with more than 1 gram of sat­u­rated fat was removed when KIND, the com­pany that pro­duces food bars whose nut con­tent yielded higher fat ratios, fought back.

In a May 2016 arti­cle in Lifeextension.com, Magid said that KIND was sim­ply, point­ing out the absur­dity of the FDA’s posi­tion, and point­ing out the evo­lu­tion of nutri­tion sci­ence over the past two decades.” As to that high-fat con­tent, the com­pany noted, the same could be attrib­uted to avo­ca­dos and salmon.

Accord­ing to Magid, a big­ger pic­ture is now in play as the KIND case has forced the FDA to review its stan­dards for deem­ing food prod­ucts as healthy.”

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Exam­in­ing prod­ucts’ nutri­tional con­tents indi­vid­u­ally, rather than as part of a sub-cat­e­gory like fats” is the prac­ti­cal next step, he notes, and he points to some dis­turb­ing evi­dence that fat-as-unhealthy” was a pre­cept put forth by the sugar indus­try lobby.

The FDA now says it will, in fact, be re-eval­u­at­ing its reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing nutri­tional con­tent claims, includ­ing the use of the term healthy” based on evolv­ing nutri­tion research that con­tin­ues to show that cer­tain fats like extra vir­gin olive oil are not only nutri­tious but hold astound­ing health ben­e­fits.

The FDA’s move will likely lead to a pause in the exten­sive lit­i­ga­tion against the food indus­try regard­ing allegedly decep­tive healthy’ label­ing, as the courts wait for FDA to take a posi­tion,” Magid adds.


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