July 15, 1997

Contact: Steve Thibodeau 202/226-7761


Rep. Julia Carson called for implementation of a four-point plan of action on olestra in light of constituent complaints about ingesting potato chips made with the fat substitute. Since test-marketing of the product began in Indianapolis, Rep. Carson received nearly 30 complaints from constituents who suffered from digestive problems caused by ingestion of olestra.

"We need to do a new, complete and independent review of olestra and its side effects," Rep. Carson stated. "Today, I call upon the Food and Drug Administration to institute a review commission for this purpose."

In addition to a new and independent review commission, Rep. Carson called for stronger, more prominent warning labels on products made with olestra; a more conscious effort by the snack industry to take care in the marketing of olestra-based snacks, especially with children; and a public awareness campaign warned potential consumers of snacks made with olestra to the potential side effects of the product.

"It is apparent to me and other residents of Indianapolis that olestra can do serious harm. My duty to my constituents is to assure that their public health is not at risk," Rep. Carson stated. "The implications for using olestra on a nationwide basis is also at stake. The effects of olestra on the citizens of Indianapolis need to be examined throughly before expanding the use of this product to other communities across America."

On June 10, 1997, Rep. Carson sent a letter to the FDA urging the agency to establish an independent review commission on olestra. After receiving no response, Rep. Carson renewed her call for a commission today, along with the other points of her action plan.


CSPI's July 15th Press Release on Olestra in Indianapolis