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« Saturday Car Thread 03/01/14 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse & Countrysquire] | Main | Saturday Afternoon Yard and Garden Thread: Make Your Bed Edition [Y-not and WeirdDave] »
March 01, 2014

Saturday Afternoon (Open) Thread for Politics [Y-not]

Here's a thread for all of you non-gardening morons to talk politics.

To give you something to "chew on," the FDA is tinkering with food labeling again.

Meanwhile, this writer at Forbes wants the FLOTUS (is there nothing she can't do?!) to lean on the FDA about their current policy concerning health claims.

At issue here is FDA’s longstanding discomfort with health claims made on food labels, particularly those touting the medical benefits of certain diets and ingredients. FDA staff worries when food health claims aren’t backed by the same kind of rigorous science that supports the medical claims made on drug labels. By their estimation, health claims made about food should require the same sort of scientific proof as claims made on medical products – randomized, prospectively controlled clinical trials. They argue, in effect, that there’s a single truth standard when it comes to health claims. A health claim is a health claim, regardless of where it is made. Foods shouldn’t be treated much differently than drugs.

There are problems with this logic, not least of which is that the courts have strongly disagreed with FDA’s position. In Pearson v. Shalala (1999), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals chastised the FDA, stating that it was “skeptical the government could demonstrate with empirical evidence” that health claims made with appropriate disclaimers would “bewilder” consumers, as the FDA claimed. The FDA has largely ignored this, and other similar Federal court rulings, by arguing that the cases were wrongly decided – an unusual revision of traditional civics.

Read the whole thing here.

If the crux of this is to get the FDA to loosen up on general claims like "oat fiber is good for you," I have no problem with that.

Open thread.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 04:53 PM

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