Major omega-3 suppliers have established a multinational trade association to further the cause of EPA- and DHA-containing products and differentiate them from other omega-3 long-chain fatty acids such as ALA.
The Utah-based Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED Omega-3) replaces the Council for Responsible Nutrition?s omega-3 working group and met for the first time in Baltimore at Natural Products Expo East on Oct 6. The association also counts health-care professionals, educators and researchers among its members.
In a statement, GOAD Omega-3 said it was "committed to increasing the market and regulatory approvals for products based on EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), developing EPA and DHA consumer awareness and education strategies, and implementing quality standards and other measures that will protect the Omega 3 EPA/DHA category."
It is a common source of discontent among DHA and EPA suppliers that consumers often perceive ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) as a comparable source of omega-3 fatty acids to EPA and DHA when clinical studies have shown ALA bioavailability levels are considerably less.
?A GOED Omega-3 membership provides companies with an unprecedented opportunity to become architects of a new, positive self-regulatory industry framework that will hopefully be implemented worldwide,? said GOED Omega-3 committee member and president and CEO of Ocean Nutrition Canada, Robert Orr. ?There is a huge nutrition gap that will not begin to close until regulations are updated to reflect the results of thousands of clinical studies ? only then will be the public begin to have access to the daily amount of Omega-3 EPA and DHA their bodies need to reap the health benefits.?
The other founding members are Cargill, Ceres Consulting, Croda, Demomega, EPAX, Lipid Nutrition, Lonza, Marine Nutraceuticals, Martek Biosciences, Napro Pharma AS and OmegaPure.
While there is an approved Food and Drug Administration cardiovascular EPA/DHA claim in the US, the ALA versus EPA/DHA distinction is rarely made in many jurisdictions, if omega-3 claims are permitted at all.