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NLEA PROPOSED RULES RESTRICT INFORMATION TO CONSUMERS

 NLEA PROPOSED RULES RESTRICT INFORMATION TO CONSUMERS
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug


Administration's proposed rules to implement the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990 will restrict the flow of information to consumers and reduce their opportunity to make better dietary choices, J.B. Cordaro, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, will state in testimony to be given at the FDA-NLEA hearings, Jan. 30-31. "By so depriving consumers of valuable information, FDA's proposals may have unintended consequences for the long-term health status of all Americans," he will state.
 Specifically, Cordaro will make recommendations to improve FDA rules by suggesting changes in these four areas: standards and procedure, health claims, label format and implementation dates and the reference daily intake (RDI).
 Cordaro will urge FDA to use a category approach for making health claims for supplements and the food industry. This process would allow different health claim categories depending on the strength of the scientific evidence provided by expert panels, and would give FDA final authority to accept or reject the panels' findings.
 FDA approved health claims in only four areas, despite strong scientific evidence in favor of claims for these additional areas: omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease, folic acid and neural tube birth defects, antioxidant vitamins and cancer, fiber and cancer and fiber and cardiovascular disease.
 One such area where extensive scientific evidence was presented was folic acid. "By failing to approve a health claim for folic acid, FDA may be affecting the future of thousands of unborn babies each year who will suffer the consequences of preventable birth defects," Cordaro will state. Moreover, the families of these babies must continue to suffer, and the American health care system continues to bear the cost of a preventable birth defect.
 Furthermore, Cordaro will express concern about the proposed mandatory labeling format for supplement. He will state that the additional information required on the label may be inappropriate or will not fit on a product label.
 Because of severe economic reasons, Cordaro will request a one- year (from May 1993 to May 1994) extension in implementing the final label regulations.
 Switching to an area not required by the NLEA, serious questions have been raised about FDA's reproposal to replace the U.S. RDA with the RDI. "By changing the label standard, FDA will be reducing the daily value of most vitamins and minerals by 10 to 80 percent," Cordaro will state. The RDI uses a population-weighted means to arrive at intake levels; this method, Cordaro will say, "will ensure that half of Americans will fall short of daily recommendations for many nutrients."
 CRN agrees with the 79 nutrition professionals who wrote to FDA in 1990 in criticizing the original RDI proposal. The council endorses the position paper written by Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg of Tufts University along with 34 other concerned nutrition professionals.
 Cordaro will conclude his testimony by stating CRN's desire to cooperate with FDA to resolve these issues in ways that benefits regulators, industry and, most importantly, consumers.
 CRN is an association of the nutritional supplement industry.
 -0- 1/29/92
 /NOTE: Call the contact below for a copy of CRN's complete testimony/
 /CONTACT: Susan Burgess of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 202-872-1488/ CO: Council for Responsible Nutrition ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


SB-MH -- DC029 -- 4884 01/29/92 16:05 EST
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Date:Jan 29, 1992
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