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Food Companies Should Be Held To Tougher Standards Regarding Health Claims

September 20, 2010: 07:46 AM EST

Making health claims for functional foods is certainly good business: manufacturers racked up $31 billion in sales in 2008 for products modified to offer purported health benefits. But, according to Scientific American, “consumers are getting a rotten deal” because science often doesn’t support – and government doesn’t endorse – the claims. Consumers are thus left with a “false sense of security” that often keeps them from doing what they should do to maintain good health. The FDA’s recent warning letters to 17 food companies about false or misleading label claims was “a significant step toward halting the exploitation of science by food marketers” but more needs to be done. Food and beverage products should be held to the same scientific standards as drug companies, a move that would reduce health claims significantly.

The Editors, "Snake Oil in the Supermarket", Scientific American, September 20, 2010, © Scientific American
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