Walnuts get first qualified health claim

Walnuts are the first beneficiaries of the Food and Drug Administration’s qualified health claim policy, which allows health claims on labels when scientific evidence is promising but not conclusive.

Packages of whole or chopped walnuts now may refer to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

FDA said it is considering similar claims for other nuts. But not everyone is happy. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has sued to stop the qualified claim program, contending that consumers want definitive health advice from the government. Even the walnut industry wasn’t happy about the allowed claim which stated: “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 oz. of walnuts per day, as part of a low-saturated-fat and low-cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. See nutrition information for fat [and calorie] content.” The California Walnut Commission has asked FDA to allow a more streamlined claim that states: “Scientific evidence indicates that consuming 1.5 oz. of walnuts a day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

More in Home