FDA Omega-3 EPA/DHA Qualified Heart Health Claim Opens A New Market For Food Manufacturers

Americans will soon be able to get the health benefits of fish in food products they love, without the taste or smell of fish

September 9, 2004 - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. (ONC) – North America’s leading producer and supplier of Omega-3 fish oil and fish oil concentrates to the dietary supplement and functional food markets applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their qualified health claim decision.

Wednesday, the FDA announced that conventional foods containing Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which are mainly found in fatty fish, such as anchovies, sardines and salmon, may put a qualified heart health claim on their label. This is an important milestone for North American nutrition because it allows food manufacturers to specifically refer to heart health benefits associated with products that contain EPA and DHA. For the FDA to announce this type of health claim on conventional foods it must be supported by sufficient credible scientific evidence, which the FDA evaluates according to their “Interim Procedures for Qualified Health Claims in the labelling of Conventional Human Food and Human Dietary Supplements”.

Dr. Lester Crawford, Acting FDA Commissioner, stated, “Coronary heart disease is a significant health problem that causes 500,000 deaths annually in the United States.” Crawford also noted that, “This new qualified health claim for Omega-3 fatty acids should help consumers as they work to improve their health by identifying foods that contain these important compounds.”

ONC is very pleased about the announcement of the health claim for EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids and believes this is a huge step for the industry. Mr. Robert Orr, President and CEO of Ocean Nutrition Canada, noted, “Our FDA notified GRAS Omega-3 powdered food ingredient is an excellent solution for food manufacturers wishing to include EPA and DHA in their products because it allows people to eat foods they love and get the health benefits of fish (EPA and DHA), without the taste or smell of fish. The FDA’s decision will enable Americans to more easily obtain the daily recommended requirements of up to 500 mg per day of EPA and DHA, which is far greater than the current average of just 100mg per day.”

The health claim will allow food manufacturers to note the presence of DHA and EPA in their products to assist consumers in identifying foods that contain these crucial fatty acids. Ocean Nutrition Canada produces highly concentrated Omega-3 EPA/DHA powdered ingredients that have been successfully incorporated into a wide range of food products including, but not limited to, bread, milk, yogurt, powder shakes, food and nutritional bars.

About Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC):
Ocean Nutrition Canada is a privately held company, and wholly owned subsidiary of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., one of Canada's largest suppliers of quality seafood products. Ocean Nutrition Canada researches, manufactures, and markets Omega-3 concentrates and other marine based natural ingredients for the dietary supplement and functional food markets. ONC exemplifies scientific rigor in discovery and research programs, along with world leading regulatory and quality compliance standards.

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