- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In the bizarro world of federal regulation, truth often doesn’t matter in the way that regular people understand it. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration’s warning letters often single out true statements as objectionable.

c Tea: A beverage company’s Web site contains an article on the history of tea, which includes these statements: “Tea was prized as a medicine that could cure digestive disorders” and “tea leaves were also applied externally as a paste to ease the pains of rheumatism.” While both accurately reflect the history of tea, the FDA contends they are health claims that require the company to put its tea through the application process for a new drug.

c Baby food: Some Gerber baby food is labeled as a “Good source of iron, zinc and vitamin E for infants and toddlers.” Federal law bans companies from claiming that a food is a good source of nutrition for children younger than 2, even if it is.

c Walnuts: The packaging for Diamond walnuts states: “In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, supportive, but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 oz of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increases caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” That’s true, but the FDA says Diamond can’t include the statement in its packaging if the sentence before states: “The Omega-3 in walnuts can help you get the proper balance of fatty acids your body needs for promoting and maintaining heart health.”

- The Washington Times

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