NFPA Welcomes FDA Initiative to Encourage Science-Based Health Claims About Health Benefits of Food Products

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to an announcement by Mark McClellan, M.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that the Agency will launch a major initiative to encourage more and better information about foods and dietary supplements, Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Executive Vice President of the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:

"This is a very positive move by FDA, which will help food companies to provide more accurate, science-based information on the health benefits of food products to consumers via food labels. NFPA has long urged that FDA examine its criteria for approving health claims, to speed the flow of this important information to consumers.

"In comments filed with FDA on September 13 of this year, NFPA made the case that FDA should permit, even encourage, the communication of all forms of truthful, non-misleading, and well-substantiated statements on the labels and labeling of food products. We strongly agree with Dr. McClellan's remarks in making this announcement that consumers increasingly want to keep up with the latest science, and are best served by having as much accurate, science-based information as possible on which to base their food choices.

"NFPA also applauds FDA's new initiative to help eliminate untruthful or misleading labeling claims by taking on those dietary supplement marketers who make such claims. Fraudulent, misleading claims are a black eye to everyone. For consumers to act upon the information provided in health claims, they must have confidence in those claims. FDA's resolve to take action against fraudulent claims on dietary supplements is highly appropriate.

"NFPA looks forward to reviewing FDA's new guidance on health claims for foods, and to working with the Agency in moving forward with providing this important information on the health benefits of foods on food labels. This is something that is in the best interest of everyone -- particularly consumers."

NFPA is the voice of the $500 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.

For more information on this issue, contact Timothy Willard, NFPA's Vice President of Communications, at (202) 637-8060, or visit NFPA's Website at .

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