CSPI Applauds IOM Recommendations to Strengthen Standards for Health-related Claims for Foods and Dietary Supplements


Statement of CSPI Legal Affairs Director Bruce Silverglade

May 12, 2010

The Institute of Medicine report gives the Food and Drug Administration a basis to establish a regulatory framework for health-related claims on foods and dietary supplements labels. While the FDA has recently begun a case-by-case crackdown on misleading food labeling claims, the agency lacks a comprehensive regulatory framework for many types of labeling claims. Misleading health-related claims on food labels are an industry-wide problem and need an industry-wide solution.

We support the IOM conclusion that when foods or dietary supplements claim to provide drug-like benefits, they should be held to rigorous scientific standards. Right now, FDA policies are riddled with loopholes that let companies make phony promises on weak scientific evidence.

CSPI petitioned the FDA in 2002 to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for foods with added ingredients that claim special health benefits. The IOM report now gives the agency a firm scientific basis to act.

Right now the supermarket is a jungle of unsupported health-related claims. We hope that the IOM report will provide the basis for fundamental change of how food labeling claims are regulated.

 

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