Ocean Spray gets thumbs down on EU health-claim bid

Ocean Spray has been turned down by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its bid for a health claim associated with consumption of cranberry for urinary tract infection (UTI) in women.

Scientific data contained in 12 studies Ocean Spray submitted was flawed, according to the EFSA's Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. The panel's statement said: "… the evidence provided is not sufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of Ocean Spray cranberry products and the reduction of the risk of UTI in women by inhibiting the adhesion of certain bacteria in the urinary tract."

The ruling throws into question a 2004 ruling by France's Agence Fran?aise de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, which says consumption of certain amounts of the North American cranberry species vaccinium macrocarpon can 'help reduce the adhesion of certain E coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls.' France is the only nation so far to allow such a health claim.

In response to the EFSA ruling, Managing Director of Ocean Spray Europe, Middle East and Africa, Jared Konstanty, said "The NDA Opinion demonstrates that the science is in place. Our clinical trials to date have been well received, and published in respected, peer-reviewed journals, including [the Journal of the American Medical Association].? For the future we need to ensure our clinical studies are carried out to meet the exact requirements of the NDA panel. We are committed to further research to ensure we reach these levels."

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