Filed Under: Food Police

Regulating Health Claims, CSPI-Style

When you see the American Heart Association’s “heart healthy” label, you have some additional, helpful information about the product you’re buying. That seems simple and obvious. But European bureaucrats have decided that their subjects are too stupid to handle such information. New rules governing food labels in Europe, would “put an end to endorsements by doctors or other health experts, because they might suggest that not eating the specified food could lead to health problems (emphasis ours).

Thankfully, the U.S. is going in the opposite direction. The FDA will allow “qualified health claims” on more products — a move that, of course, riles our friends at Food-Nanny Central. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which has long argued that you’re too dumb to understand health notices on products like wine, complains that “manufacturers will be able to make claims about the health benefits of their products based on preliminary scientific evidence that may not stand the test of time.”

Funny, we seem to remember that CSPI’s vaunted “liquid candy” study — overstating soda consumption by 100 percent — didn’t last a week.

Which makes it even more entertaining that CSPI now complains: “It would be unfortunate if the claim turned out later to be untrue. No one’s going to get their money back.” CSPI, we note, also doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee for the subscribers to their newsletter, who are fed ceaseless finger-wagging and junk science.

CSPI also frets that food companies will take the recent FDA regulations and use “the First Amendment as a license to practice quackery.” But the group has quite a lot of quackery to answer for itself. Exhibit number one: CSPI’s recent petition to the FDA on acrylamide, which doesn’t even meet the test of “preliminary scientific evidence,” much less the test of time.

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