FDA Sets Rules on Health Claims

FDA Sets Rules on Health Claims

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration allows food companies to make 17 sorts of health claims for products. Here are three examples:

Sodium and hypertension

A food must be low in sodium, and the claim must mention sodium and high blood pressure. Model wording would be: "Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors."

Saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat and the risk of heart disease

The typical serving of a food must contain less than 6.5 grams of total fat and less than 0.5 grams of trans fat to qualify. The exact wording of the claim is: "Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and as low as possible in trans fat, may reduce the risk of heart disease."

Folate and neural tube defects

The food must contain at least 40 micrograms of folate per serving. The maker could market the food by saying: "Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect."

For further information on claims that can be made about foods and dietary supplements, consult this FDA Web page: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/{tilde}dms/wh-fraud.html.

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