Statement on the FDA’s Letter to the Food Industry Regarding the Use of Novel Ingredients

Statement of CSPI director of legal affairs Bruce Silverglade


Washington, D.C. - The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) issued the following statement concerning a letter that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent to food manufacturers regarding the improper use of novel food ingredients and health-related claims. CSPI urged the FDA last July to take that and other steps to prevent the illegal use of so-called “functional food” ingredients and to stop misleading claims.

     “We support the FDA’s action. The FDA’s letter is a shot-across-the-bow warning companies they will be sued if they sell products with ingredients not demonstrated to be safe.

     “We urge the FDA to warn individual companies and, if necessary, seize products containing illegal ‘functional’ ingredients.

     “The FDA also should require manufacturers to notify it of all labeling claims that a food can affect the structure or functioning of the body and require that such claims be based on scientific consensus.

     “Foods with novel ingredients may provide important health benefits or may just be a form of 21st century quackery. It all depends on whether companies are required to make sure that all ingredients are safe and claims are valid.”

Contact Info: 

Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at] or Ariana Stone (astone[at]