Seen any walnuts in your medicine cabinet?

wetone123 wetone123
Seen any walnuts in your medicine cabinet lately? According to the Food and Drug Administration, that is precisely where you should find them. Because Diamond Foods made truthful claims about the health benefits of consuming walnuts that the FDA didn’t approve, it sent the company a letter declaring, “Your walnut products are drugs” — and “new drugs” at that — and, therefore, “they may not legally be marketed … in the United States without an approved new drug application.” The agency even threatened Diamond with “seizure” if it failed to comply.

Diamond’s transgression was to make “financial investments to educate the public and supply them with walnuts,” as William Faloon of Life Extension magazine put it. On its website and packaging, the company stated that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts have been shown to have certain health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. These claims, Faloon notes, are well supported by scientific research: “Life Extension has published 57 articles that describe the health benefits of walnuts”; and “The US National Library of Medicine database contains no fewer than 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack risk.”

This evidence was apparently not good enough for the FDA, which told Diamond that its walnuts were “misbranded” because the “product bears health claims that are not authorized by the FDA.”



According to the FDA there is no food or natural substance that can improve health in any way shape of form. Anything that has a positive health trait is a drug. This basically means that if you can benefit from something the FDA protected pharmaceutical companies must maintain a monopoly on it and profit handily from it.


Anyway...The FDA made them pull all "misbranded" products from selves and cost them millions of dollars.

What do YOU make of this?
07/24/2011
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Ansley Ansley
Bravo, America! Bravo!


A bunch of freakin' idiots run this place!
07/24/2011
Antipova Antipova
The more red tape, the worse off we all are.

I can understand the necessity of not making health claims on food product packaging---a lot of consumers are so undereducated that they might actually think that walnuts are a 'cure' for something, rather than part of a balanced diet that might overall reduce their risks of certain problems in the future. Heck, consumers buy homeopathic remedies because their packaging lists "benefits," so I guess if you look in a sympathetic light toward what the FDA's doing, it's understandable.

But it's also ... just not that important, in the scheme of things that the FDA is in charge of.

They published all of this data

link (scroll down for the table)

in 2006, and mentioned to soda companies that "it might be nice if you stopped putting ingredients that form benzene into sodapop that everyone drinks, guys," but the pop companies were able to kaibosh them making any toothed threats. So ... they're all still putting ingredients that form benzene into sodapop, 5 years later.

I think the FDA should focus more on problems like this, and maybe less on the "fine line between healthy foods and drugs," or whatever this walnut thing seems to be.
07/24/2011
Envy Envy
Oh lovely. I LOVE walnuts, too, they're my fave nut.
07/24/2011
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Another proud moment for the FDA.
07/24/2011
JessCee JessCee
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
The more red tape, the worse off we all are.

I can understand the necessity of not making health claims on food product packaging---a lot of consumers are so undereducated that they might actually think that walnuts are a 'cure' for ... More
This is absolutely true...

I understand the concern about the packaging, however, looking at the big picture, I don't feel that it is very important. There are much more pressing issues that the FDA needs to focus on.
07/24/2011
Chilipepper Chilipepper
I guess Diamond didn't pay the FDA enough 'protection' money like everyone else has to.

I'm gonna go smoke some walnuts now, dude.
07/24/2011
null null
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
I guess Diamond didn't pay the FDA enough 'protection' money like everyone else has to.

I'm gonna go smoke some walnuts now, dude.
"smoke some walnuts now"
I'm imagining tiny little walnut bongs filled with nutella.
07/24/2011
Alan & Michele Alan & Michele
"According to the FDA there is no food or natural substance that can improve health in any way shape of form."


Yes, that sounds like the logic of our wonderfully idiotic FDA at work. We all know that only little pills laden with toxic chemicals and bearing side effect lists longer than our arms are good for us, right? Riiight.

Hmm... I wonder if I should tell me dad that he has several "drug trees" growing on his property now? LOL
07/25/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Wow. You know, I've a few American friends who've often complained about the FDA. I thought they were just overreacting in the way people do - but now I think I owe them an apology! If you'll excuse me, it's time to bang my head against the desk.
07/25/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by wetone123
Seen any walnuts in your medicine cabinet lately? According to the Food and Drug Administration, that is precisely where you should find them. Because Diamond Foods made truthful claims about the health benefits of consuming walnuts that the FDA ... More
Quote: "According to the FDA there is no food or natural substance that can improve health in any way shape of form. Anything that has a positive health trait is a drug." This simply isn't true. Things with a great deal of well done, good research behind it CAN make health claims if they are adequately proven. Look at certain fiber cereals, etc. They can make claims of heart health etc and not be considered a drug. However, if they claimed to cure say, impotence and only were able to present "research" that the cereal companies themselves had done, or the research projects only had 3 people in each study or were poorly done, they could not claim that. MANY true health claims are given on food, without having to "Declare" them drugs, as long as it is adequately proven. That proof, however, does not come easily. Why? To protect the public from quackery.

However, too many foods make health claims when most of the "research" is done by one organization, usually funded by the maker or distributor of the food itself.

The FDA makes sure health claims are adequately proven (to the standards to which drugs are held, but the FDA does NOT say that foods which have health benefit ARE drugs!) This proof is necessary to prevent quackery and out right lies. If you look at some of the false health claims made by food and devices in the past (hey, heroin is good for you, and non-addictive! That was one of the claims made by Bayer before the FDA was formed.) you see why claims have to be adequately proven. A few articles, which may not be well done is not proof.

Not to mention the Life Extension Foundation has been purported to engage in quackery and mistruths in the past, (they are the only ones who are able to "prove" most of the claims they make, such as severe calorie restriction for "health") as well the present. They are not an organization many who are well educated in health actually would trust. Seeing as 57 of the supposed "articles" on the life extending characteristics of walnuts came from them, many in health care would be likely to not believe any of them.
07/25/2011
newfoundlust newfoundlust
Just stupid governmental babble. Of course some foods have health benefits, that is why we eat, to stay alive. If you take this absurd FDA position to its logical extension, there is no difference health-wise between broccoli and sugar etc. Funny thing is, isn't it also the government that keeps revising our nutritional recommendations telling us to eat more vegetables, nuts and fruit?
07/25/2011
Pixel Pixel
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Quote: "According to the FDA there is no food or natural substance that can improve health in any way shape of form. Anything that has a positive health trait is a drug." This simply isn't true. Things with a great deal of well done, ... More
*applauds* Well said.
07/25/2011
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Quote: "According to the FDA there is no food or natural substance that can improve health in any way shape of form. Anything that has a positive health trait is a drug." This simply isn't true. Things with a great deal of well done, ... More
I am completely behind calling bullshit on unsubstantiated claims, but the part of this that bothers me is that the FDA wrote this in the letter to Diamond:

"we have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs”

That cause them to be drugs? If the claims are bogus, call Diamond out on it. But please do not try to reclassify an edible seed as some type of pharmaceutical, no good can come of that.
07/26/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
That's it, I'm switching to peanuts. Walnuts are just too hard of a drug

Seriously, the FDA is one of the worst run agencies in the government. The Patent Office is up there too, right next to the FCC and FTC.
07/26/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
I am completely behind calling bullshit on unsubstantiated claims, but the part of this that bothers me is that the FDA wrote this in the letter to Diamond:

"we have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that ... More
This part of the letter is very telling and makes sense: Additionally, your walnut products are offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners; therefore, adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes. Thus, your walnut products are also misbranded under section 502(1) of the Act, in that the labeling for these drugs fails to bear adequate directions for use

Heart disease is not a health issue one can diagnose for oneself, I think that is part of the problem. It may be more the wording and the broad across the board sweeping generalizations that caused the FDA to step in.

The FDA, (yeah it's a government agency and prone to all the issues that the government has, but it beats living in Patent Medicine Age, when people were dying every day due to quackery) does allow many foods to make health claims, but if the claims are too broad and too outlandish it is their job to protect the public from these multiconglomerate food companies. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Walnuts can cure depression? An outlandish claim.

Perhaps if Diamond Nut Company used more believable sources (not the Life Extension people for 57 of their "studies") and were more specific, there would be less issue. Saying something can HELP or ameliorate some health conditions is one thing, claiming something is a cure is something else.

I'm not an FDA agent, so I don't know the whole story, but my guess is the claims were too broad and were too many and used less than respectable sources to be allowed to be released to the public. It IS in the interest of the FDA to protect the public from Patent Medicines, quackery and false or unproven claims. Sometimes lines need to be drawn.
07/26/2011
Total posts: 16
Unique posters: 14