FDA allows first food-specific health claim

Setting an important precedent, Chicago-based Quaker Oats is the first company to apply for and receive permission from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to make food-specific health claims on its packages.

Pw 23836 Rr1 9

The health claim-that soluble fiber from foods such as oats may reduce the risk of heart disease-must be placed in the context of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Before making its deci-sion in late January, FDA spent almost two years reviewing no less than 37 studies-two-thirds funded by Quaker. "Because this was the first food-specific health claim, I think FDA wanted to make sure they set a very high standard for other food companies [that might pursue approval for future claims]," Quaker spokesperson Ron Bottrell tells Packaging World. Six Quaker products, both hot and cold cereals, qualify for the health claim. Packages bearing the claims will appear in early spring.

More in Home