The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) and a consortium of eight leading scientific, trade, and consumer advocacy organizations have petitioned the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene an expert panel to establish clear dietary reference intakes (DRIs) for the EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Industry support is urgently needed to (1) provide comments of support for the initiative and (2) encourage legislators to fund the IOM review. GOED has launched a website to provide a convenient method of submitting comments and reaching legislators, www.omega3petition.org.
GOED believes newly established DRIs would have a profound effect on both the industry and consumers. “Omega-3s are one of the fastest growing and largest segments of the food and supplement business, which is why this issue impacts every company within this sector,” said Adam Ismail, Executive Director of GOED. “In the past decade or so, research on omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA in particular, has evolved to suggest we may be facing a serious public health problem. Most Americans appear to be falling short in their consumption of EPA and DHA, which studies show are important for cardiovascular health and brain development,” added Andrew Shao, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, and a cosigner of the petition.
A study, in the April issue of PLoS Medicine identified EPA and DHA inadequacy as the 6th leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Andrew Shao states, “Taking a simple EPA and DHA-containing product could help fill the nutrition gaps, but until DRIs are established both policy makers and consumers have no way of knowing what the target intakes should be and by how much they’re falling short. By not acting on this important initiative, we place the health of Americans and Canadians at risk.”
The petition comes at an important time, as leaders on Capitol Hill are looking at healthcare reform, prevention needs to be a primary focus in these discussions. An investment of approximately $1.0-1.5 million is needed from the U.S. and Canadian governments to fund the IOM review. These recommendations could potentially result in billions of dollars in reduced healthcare costs and bring strong credibility to the entire nutrition industry.
This issue has united the interests of the industry with those of scientific and consumer groups but without funding from congress, clear DRIs reflecting the sound science behind EPA & DHA will not be established. Organizations and individuals are strongly encouraged to show their interest and support by visiting www.omega3petition.org to submit public comments and find information on writing their legislators.
Organizations supporting the Omega-3 Petition:
· Global Organization For EPA And DHA Omega-3s
· Council For Responsible Nutrition
· International Omega-3 Learning Consortium For Health And Medicine
· National Fisheries Institute
· National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
· Natural Products Association
· Seafood Products Association
· Society For Women’s Health Research
· United Natural Products Alliance
GOED is a proactive and accountable association of the world’s finest processors, refiners, manufacturers, distributors, marketers, retailers and supporters of products containing Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The Organization's objectives are to promote and protect the category, educate consumers about the health benefits of EPA/DHA, and work with government groups, the healthcare community and the industry, while setting high standards for our business sector. GOED and its members are committed to personal integrity, ethical corporate behavior, public safety and quality assurance. For more information, visit its website at www.goedomega3.com or contact Kira Olsen at +1 (801) 746-1413.