Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Food As Medicine

The FDA is officially out of control.

They are now scolding a cereal maker over the claim of lowering cholesterol 10% in a month, which in their opinion makes it a drug.
The Food and Drug Administration scolded the makers of Cheerios about the way they promote the cereal's health benefits. The FDA sent a letter of warning to General Mills accusing them of making unauthorized health claims.

Current boxes of Cheerios are touting what the company calls exciting news -- the cereal's ability to help lower cholesterol 10 percent in one month.

"My mother actually eats it every day, seven days a week for breakfast to lower her cholesterol," Staten Island resident Lauren Schwam said.

According to a letter from the FDA General Mills' advertising violates the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The agency said claims that Cheerios ingredients can lower cholesterol within a certain amount of time, all while providing cancer-fighting and heart-healthy benefits, essentially makes Cheerios "a drug" by their definition. And no drug in this country can be legally marketed without an approved new drug application.

As a certified dietetic nutritionist, Keri Glassman often recommends foods high in soluble fiber for patients looking to lower their cholesterol.

"Because of the oats ... not a drug," Glassman said.

... The FDA gave General Mills 15 days to explain how it will correct the statements on Cheerios boxes.

In a statement issued Tuesday, General Mills said this dispute is over language, not science. The company pointed out that the FDA'a complaint doesn't actually question whether Cheerios can help lower cholesterol levels -- it only talks about how the health benefits are advertised.

Orange juice helps prevent scurvy too... is that a drug?
Bananas are loaded with potassium ... is that a drug?
Cabbage juice heals stomach ulcers... is that a drug?
Yogurt keeps your intestinal flora healthy... is that a drug?

My naturopath has in the past cured me of "acid reflux disease" using food, as she also is helping me to manage other health issues using food as medicine.

Food has health benefits.
Lots of them.
Maybe the FDA hasn't noticed.

This is so stupid that if it were up to the FDA, soon you'll need a prescription to purchase groceries.

Way to go Cheerios!
I wouldn't change a thing on your packaging if studies prove your claims.

The FDA needs to change their definition of a drug.


christinemm said...

This has been brewing for a long time, maybe ten years now? The FDA has been after any product such as a vitamin, mineral or plant based supplement (sold at a heatlh food store) and they don't allow any health claims. They call supplements of natural foods "drugs".

My grandmother used slippery elm lozenges with us when we had a cough or sore throat. Yet per FDA those very old recipe lozenges (all natural too) can't make that health claim on it unless there are studies.

Health food stores so far can get away with health claims on papers offered separate from the container (can't put the info on the package itself or the label).

Someone told me Lipitor is red clover based but now the law won't let red clover supplements state they have a cholesterol claim.

Small companies making these supplements cannot afford lots of testing like Big Pharma.

I have been against this FDA stuf for YEARS. Too bad for most of the time the only ones talking about it are the 'crunch granola' types who buy natrual supplements and use old time remedies from health food stores. It doesn't seem to me they have won the fight yet.

I was thinking about how the government has regulated medicine and taken self-care away from us yet then they complain when the ones they allow to practice medicine make profit, cost citizens money, and the government wants to control and be involved. This is very different from a hundred years ago when citizens had more control and access and empowerment about their own health care!

Richard Nikoley said...

What I don't get is why anyone would want to lower their cholesterol?

Myh HDLs, for example, hover in the 130s and I intend to try keeping them there.


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