Natural Foods Merchandiser

'Excellent source' claim allowed for EPA and DHA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will now permit manufacturers to label their packages with claims that their products contain high levels of EPA and DHA polyunsaturated fatty acids, components of the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, northern marine animals and algae.

Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., supplier of the MEG-3 brand of omega-3 food and dietary supplement ingredients, petitioned the FDA to allow claims such as "excellent source of omega-3 EPA and DHA," "high in omega-3 EPA and DHA" or "rich in omega-3 EPA and DHA."

According to a December 2005 letter from the FDA to Ocean Nutrition, "a lack of action by FDA within the 120-day period [after receipt of the petition] will deem the proposed nutrient content claims approved and will allow a conventional food or dietary supplement with a label containing the claims to be introduced." The approval for the claims became effective April 8.

To qualify for the claims, products must contain a combined total of at least 32 mg EPA and DHA per serving, or 20 percent of the 160 mg daily recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 6/p. 11

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