Ban on omega-3 claims?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed banning nutrient-content claims (such as declaring a food "a great source") for omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, EPA and ALA as a result of three separate claims filed by manufacturers. According to the FDA, the nutrient-content claims "are not based on an authoritative statement" that identifies a recommended daily intake for the fatty acids.
The ruling is expected to primarily impact functional foods. Packaged Facts, a Rockville, Md.-based market research group, estimates the market for foods fortified with omega-3s to have grown from zero in 2001 to $600 million in 2006.
The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s has urged the FDA to establish a nutrient value rather than ban the claims. According to GOED, more than 600 clinical trials and reviews have been conducted since 2002, providing plenty of evidence to support such claims. The FDA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until Feb. 11. Go to www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments.
Supplements made from soy and red clover isoflavones might not be as safe as previously thought. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment evaluated a number of scientific studies on these phytoestrogens, which are often used as alternatives to hormone replacement therapy for menopausal complaints. The report concluded that it's not currently possible to establish a safe dosage for the isoflavones, because toxicological studies showed that high doses in isolated or fortified form impair thyroid function and can change mammary gland tissue. Though diets rich in soy have been correlated with low incidence of menopausal symptoms, the institute determined that there is not sufficient evidence to support the use of isoflavone supplements because their estrogen-like effects could promote the development of breast cancer.
Natrol acquired by Indian manufacturer
Natrol Inc., the Chatsworth, Calif., manufacturer of dietary supplements, agreed to be acquired by Mumbai-based Plethico Pharmaceutical Ltd. for approximately $81 million. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2008. Plethico manufactures herbal and neutraceutical products, such as Travisil, Mountain Herbz and Coach's Formula. It also makes pharmaceutical products. Natrol also announced its collaboration with Gener8Xion Entertainment to create a new health and wellness division that will provide products, services and strategies for the entertainment company.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIX/number 1/p. 9