Courts Slaps FDA and FTC for Unjustified Attacks
A court order has prevented the U.S. FDA from further censoring food and supplement science. The court ruled that an FDA disclaimer about green tea and cancer was so strongly worded that it “effectively negates” the manufacturer’s qualified health claim (QHC) and violates the First Amendment.
QHCs enable companies to make a health claim about a substance as long as it is not misleading to consumers, but in practice the FDA rarely approves them and usually creates disclaimers that completely reverse the meaning of the claim.
According to the Alliance for Natural Health:
“Outside of QHCs, food and supplements are not allowed to speak of the specific health benefits of their products because the FDA takes the position that any such statement magically turns them into drugs. And, as drugs, they would have to go through exorbitantly expensive drug trials, a cost which the manufacturer could never recoup, since food and supplements are natural products and cannot be patented ... The great thing about this ruling is that more people may get to learn about the cancer-fighting benefits of green tea.”
In related news, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suffered a loss in its efforts to hold Garden of Life, the marketer of various dietary supplements, in contempt of a previous consent order. The FTC alleged that Garden of Life violated the order by making false and baseless claims about its vitamin C and omega-3 fat based products, but the court ruled that the FTC had failed to prove that any of the challenged claims violated the consent order.