FDA Caves in on Olestra

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

August 1, 2003

Today's FDA action on olestra is a mistake that will inflict needless misery, inconvenience, and embarrassment for countless Americans. Procter & Gamble's own studies prove olestra causes diarrhea, cramps, and other symptoms. If that weren't enough, the FDA has more than 20,000 complaints about olestra in its files--more than it has for all other food additives in history combined.

Fortunately, since consumers don't seem to like the taste, texture, or side-effects of olestra, the marketshare for olestra-containing chips has diminished. But without an adequate warning label, olestra-containing chips may inadvertently find their way into shopping carts and lunchboxes of even those consumers who are trying to avoid olestra.

This is just another in a string of setbacks for the public's health, engineered by an FDA that seems all too eager to do the bidding of big food companies.


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