USA: Strong Regulations Already Exist for 'Functional Foods,' Says NFPA
Responding to calls by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for the creation of additional regulation for "functional foods" -- those foods with health benefits beyond basic nutrition -- Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Executive Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:"CSPI somehow misses the point that functional foods are foods. As such, they must meet existing strong regulatory requirements for safety and for accuracy of label statements. There is no need for functional foods be regulated differently than conventional foods; the Food and Drug Administration already has ample regulatory authority to oversee the safety of these foods and to ensure that claims on these products do not mislead consumers."NFPA's position on all foods is that their ingredients must be safe, and any claims made concerning a food must be truthful, non-misleading, and supported by sound science. NFPA has urged FDA to establish a flexible and scientifically supported policy for health claims and structure-function claims on foods and supplements."Functional foods can play an important role in enhancing the health of consumers -- and NFPA believes that national regulatory policy should be designed to help support the availability of functional foods and information on their potential health benefits. We urge CSPI to stop attacking functional foods as a category, and instead to work with government and the food industry to ensure that consumers have access to important information on the health benefits of foods."NFPA is the voice of the $460 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.Visit NFPA's Website at
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