Newsline: FDA Rules on Functional Food Claims Relaxed
WASHINGTON—FDA plans to allow companies to make certain health claims for foods even though the stated health benefits may still be the subject of scientific debate.
At the same time, the agency said it intends to beef up enforcement against misleading health claims by the dietary supplements industry.
FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan said both moves are intended to give consumers more information about foods and dietary supplements and provide consistency in how the agency treats health claims for both.
Under the new FDA guidance, companies will be able to submit qualified health claims for conventional foods based on “the weight of scientific evidence,” an easing of a previous requirement that there be a consensus backed by “the totality of publicly available scientific evidence.” FDA officials said the change would allow a company, for example, to submit a health claim saying foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, found in some fish products, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.