Often, when reading about decisions made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the government body controlling more and more what Americans can eat or not eat, the implications of so many regulations based on quite often questionable research make one’s head swim. Strangely enough, much of what is considered junk food seems to be acceptable for consumption by a population of which two thirds have been declared to be obese or overweight, yet the right to eat natural foods is being chiseled away from on a daily basis.
It’s about nuts now. Walnuts in particular.
The latest baffling decision by the FDA is the declaration that walnuts are a ‘new drug’. As reported by Dr. Mercola (popular publisher of health articles, medical news and producer of wellness products), when US based Diamond Food relayed health information about the omega-3 fats in walnuts on their product packaging and website, the FDA attacked. Even though the information was entirely true and backed by peer-reviewed scientific research, the FDA maintained that “Disclosure about the benefits of a dietary supplement or food, no matter how credible, places the food in the category of an ‘unapproved drug’.”
FDA regulations prohibit manufacturers of dietary supplements or producers of food from referring to any scientific study documenting the potential effect of the substance on a health condition, punishable by large fines and even jail. In other words, if a product makes a medical claim, it’s automatically classified as a drug. A warning letter was sent to Diamond Food stating:
“… we have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease.
The following are examples of the claims made on your firm’s website under the heading of a web page stating “OMEGA-3s… Every time you munch a few walnuts, you’re doing your body a big favor…”
Under FDA rules it is irrelevant that the claims are backed by science and run so counter to rationality and logic that it boggles the mind. The FDA’s current position is that foods such as walnuts, cherries, broccoli, turmeric, green tea and the like should be subjected to the full FDA approval process.
How much more are people allowing government agencies to infiltrate their lives, telling them how to live, what to eat, how to breathe? This agency which might have been set up by good intentions seems to have morphed into a sibling of Homeland Security! This is no longer about protection of individual lives, this is about unacceptable control.
Hand me that dish of walnuts please…
Bhagawati, Osho News