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Medical News and Perspectives
August 20, 2003

Food Fight Over Product Label Claims

JAMA. 2003;290(7):871-875. doi:10.1001/jama.290.7.871

An initiative by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowing food producers and manufacturers to make "qualified health claims" based on a broad range of valid scientific findings has brought together unlikely allies in opposition to the measure.

The FDA's Task Force on Consumer Health Information for Better Nutrition announced on July 10 a new process by which the FDA will review health claims on food labels. Current law requires the FDA to reject health claims on foods unless the statements are supported by "significant scientific agreement." But beginning in September, food label claims approved by the agency will come with a "Health Claims Report Card," that grades on an "A-B-C-D" basis the quality of scientific evidence underlying the label's health claims.

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