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Healthy Weight Center > Experts > FDA Commissioner: 1 | 2

Conversation with the FDA Commissioner (cont.)

FOODFIT:   We are hearing a lot about "qualified health claims" such as the claim about the Omega-3 content of walnuts. The walnut folks were hoping for something less, well, qualified. Are these claims with caveats really helpful to the consumer?

LESTER
CRAWFORD:

 

The FDA has a record of requiring claims based on scientific consensus—meaning that fewer products could make claims—but some courts have not agreed. We have lost several consequential court cases based on the doctrine of free speech. In other words, the courts said that we had to allow manufacturers to make health-related claims on their products even if those claims were not supported by scientific consensus. So the claims have to be qualified. These claims, like the one on walnuts, are based on what we call "generally recognized as good" rather than the higher standard that requires significant scientific consensus about the health value of a product.
 

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