I will be discussing Let’s Ask Marion with Clark Wolf as part of the Fales Library Critical Topics Series at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom. It’s free but registration is required—here.
Whole grain chaos: FDA approves qualified health claim, sort of
In 2012, ConAgra petitioned the FDA to approve use of a health claim on labels and advertising for its whole grain products. Here’s what ConAgra asked for:
Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include three servings (48 grams) of whole grains per day may reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus type 2.
Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that whole grains (three servings or 48 grams per day), as part of a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet, may reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus type 2.
To say that the FDA was less than impressed with evidence supporting this claim is to understate the matter. After a comprehensive review of the evidence, here’s what the FDA says ConAgra can use:
Whole grains may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, although the FDA has concluded that there is very limited scientific evidence for this claim.
Whole grains may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is very limited scientific evidence for this claim.
No, this is not a joke.
Congress insists that the FDA must approve health claims, whether supported by science or not.
According to FoodNavigator, ConAgra is happy about this decision. The first thing anyone will read is “whole grains may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
As I keep saying, health claims are about marketing, not health. And qualified health claims are the worst examples. A plague on all of them!