We all have heard the crazy stories of the corruption and injustice of the FDA in promoting and pushing pharmaceutical drugs while censoring health food and supplements and their ability to heal. Such is the case with a company known as Fleminger Inc., a small organic green tea company out of Trumbull, CT, and their green tea product. I read with interest an article by Anthony Gucciardi in Wake Up World on March 26, 2012. Anthony Gucciardi’s story told of the submission by Fleminger in 2004 of a health claim petition to the FDA for their green tea product.
“Scientific research is available showcasing green tea’s ability to boost the immune system, promote graceful aging, and help to fight cancers”, and so Fleminger rightfully thought to promote these health advantages. But the FDA responded a year later with a proposed disclaimer stating that the “FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk” of breast cancer and prostate cancer — health claims that Fleminger wanted to promote. In 2010, after threatening to seize Fleminger’s products and enforce the use of new exact language proposed by the FDA, the organization sent over another revised claim which they insisted the company use:
“Green tea may reduce the risk of breast or prostate cancer. FDA does not agree that green tea may reduce the risk because there is very little scientific evidence for the claim.”
Fleminger was shocked by the FDA’s force and created a suit in the US District Court against the FDA. Thankfully, judge Bryant ruled in favor of Fleminger, saying:
”The FDA’s language “effectively negates the substance–disease relationship claim altogether….There are less burdensome ways in which the FDA could indicate in a short, succinct and accurate disclaimer that it has not approved the claim without nullifying the claim altogether.”
So the FDA must now draft a new disclaimer statement. Food and supplements which have specific health benefits can rarely be promoted with those benefits because the FDA deems food and supplements as drugs if they are marketed with health claims. And these “drugs” would need to go through costly drug trials, and can’t be patented like all other real drugs can be.
An example of FDA’s stance on real foods and their benefits is Diamond Foods and their walnuts. The FDA sent Diamond Foods a letter informing them of their wrongdoing. According to the FDA, Diamond Foods claims of omega-3s health benefits in walnuts make their walnuts “drugs”. As far as the FDA is concerned, these “drugs” can not be legally marketed in the United States without an approved new drug application.
There are many other cases like Fleminger and Diamond Foods. I understand the FDA’s role to keep America’s foods safe, and I understand the long process that drug companies undergo to get a drug to market. But the FDA’s non-promotion of foods and natural supplements for health benefits while promoting sometimes-deadly prescription drugs doesn’t seem in line with the protection of American’s health. When we are talking about green tea and walnuts and their obvious health benefits versus the long list of side effects listed with virtually every drug on the market, I think I’ll do my research and choose the natural foods instead.
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