April 19, 2014

Big Scientific Free Speech Win!

pom 500x329 Big Scientific Free Speech Win!

by Alliance for Natural Health

In a 335-page ruling, an Administrative Law Judge with oversight of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has upheld the right of pomegranate juice manufacturer POM Wonderful to tell consumers about the health benefits of its juice.

Since 1996, POM has invested over $35 million to do scientific research on their pomegranate products at 44 top universities and scientific centers around the globe. Over 70 of their studies have been published in significant peer-reviewed journals, validating the health benefits of the pomegranate and pomegranate juice.

What makes this ruling significant is the fact that the judge said, “The greater weight of the persuasive expert testimony in this case leads to the conclusion that where the product is absolutely safe, like POM Products, and where the claim or advertisement does not suggest that the product be used as a substitute for conventional medical care or treatment, then it is appropriate to favor disclosure.” While we are still studying the ruling, it seems to indicate that other safe products may also be allowed to disclose scientifically validated studies about their health benefits.

The ruling also implies that Roll Global, POM Wonderful’s parent company, will not need to get FDA approval before making health claims about its food products, nor will it have to conduct the kind of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies that are required of the pharmaceutical industry, and which the FTC was illegally insisting on.

As we reported last year, the FDA allows food and supplement producers to describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient as it affects normal structure or function in humans—for example, “calcium builds strong bones” or “vitamin D boosts immune system function.” However, one cannot legally cite the science showing that vitamin D prevents and treats the flu. The flu is considered a disease, so this is forbidden.

The FTC, however, has been claiming that even structure/function claims cannot be made unless two random-controlled human clinical trials, or RCTs, are performed! And that’s two RCTs for each product, not each ingredient. Even one RCT is tremendously expensive, so to require two for each product before any health claim is made is a nearly impossible undertaking.

Both FDA and the FTC regulate health claims about food (and dietary supplements are defined as a food), but the FTC covers health claims in advertising, whereas the FDA is concerned with health claims on food product labeling. The difficulty here is that through a series of lawsuit settlement agreements (“consent decrees”) taken against food companies by the FTC, the lines between the FTC and the FDA jurisdictions are blurring, particularly in regard to health claims. In its consent agreements—under threat of severe sanction if not agreed to—the FTC has forced companies to agree that no advertising claims could be made unless (a) there was prior approval by the FDA, and (b) it was supported by two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies—a pharmaceutical standard.

In 2010, POM Wonderful sued the FTC for blurring those lines. POM alleged that the FTC was trampling on their first amendment rights to make claims about pomegranates and pomegranate juice—claims that they said were supported by reliable scientific evidence. POM argued that FTC was illegally trying to create a new standard, whereas the current legal standard is that a claim does not require FDA approval and must simply be supported by competent, reliable, scientific evidence.

Constitutional lawyer Jonathan Emord put it this way:

The [FTC] cannot make unencumbered commercial speech dependent upon anything other than the requirement that the speech be non-misleading. Speech not approved by FDA may be true. Speech not supported by a set number and kind of human trials may also be true. The constitutional burden of proof is on FTC to prove falsity in each specific case based on the precise content of the claim.

As another article in this issue makes clear, the battle for free speech about science is still far from won. We are only in the early days. But the POM case is a major step forward and worth celebrating.

Read the Full Article and Comment Here: http://www.anh-usa.org/scientific-free-speech-win/

0 commentsback to post

Other articlesgo to homepage

Could Magnesium Deficiency Be Causing Many of Your Health Problems?

Could Magnesium Deficiency Be Causing Many of Your Health Problems?

Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It controls nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. There are over hundred different symptoms and cofactors of magnesium deficiency, some of which include muscle pain, insomnia, fibromyalgia, migraines, and low bone density.

How Turmeric Can Save the Aging Brain From Dementia and Premature Death

How Turmeric Can Save the Aging Brain From Dementia and Premature Death

A promising new study published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry reveals the primary polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin (which gives it its golden hue) may provide what the study authors describe as an “effective therapeutic strategy to reverse age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction.”

Age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction is occurring on an epidemic scale in Western countries and include, “stroke, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.” Presently, very few if any conventional medical interventions are capable of providing effective solutions, and none have been found to reverse underlying pathologies in conditions whose trajectories are generally characterized as ‘incurable.’ All the more reason why the new study holds so much promise in providing an evidence-based natural solution that is safe, effective, affordable and easily accessible as a familiar food ingredient.

Aged Garlic and Other Natural Strategies Reduce Hypertension

Aged Garlic and Other Natural Strategies Reduce Hypertension

Researchers from Australia’s University of Adelaide have confirmed that garlic is effective for reducing blood pressure. We can now add garlic to the list of several natural strategies to reduce hypertension. The researchers conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial with 79 patients who had been diagnosed with uncontrolled systolic hypertension. Researchers said their trial suggests aged garlic extract to be an effective and tolerable treatment in uncontrolled hypertension, and may be considered as a safe adjunct treatment to conventional antihypertensive therapy.

The Spice That Prevents Fluoride From Destroying Your Brain

The Spice That Prevents Fluoride From Destroying Your Brain

Fluoride is found everywhere today, from antibiotics to drinking water, non stick pans to toothpaste, making exposure inevitable. All the more reason why new research proving this common spice can prevent fluoride damage is so promising.

Fluoride’s neurotoxicity has been the subject of academic debate for decades, and now a matter of increasingly impassioned controversy among the general public as well. A new study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine, adds experimental support to the suspicion that fluoride is indeed a brain-damaging substance, also revealing that a curcumin (found in turmeric) helps protect against the various health effects associated with fluoride exposure.

Study: Mixed Vitamin E Forms Slow Cognition Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease

Study: Mixed Vitamin E Forms Slow Cognition Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease

This research reported by Case Adams shows how there are multiple forms of vitamin E in nature, and that mixed forms of vitamin E as found in food have tremendous health benefits. Most vitamin E supplements in pill form are simply encapsulated soybean oil, containing mainly just one form of the tocopherol. Soybeans are also over 90% GMO.

In addition to the various forms of tocopherols that are classified as vitamin E, there are also tocotrienols which are generally not found in supplements, but in food. The following chart shows how red palm oil (not the processed version) is nature’s richest source of tocotrienols and vitamin E.

Much like coconut oil, palm oil has been vilified because of its high saturated fat content, although recent meta-studies have been published disproving that saturated fats have any impact on heart disease at all.

Unfortunately, palm oil also gets vilified for ecological reasons where it has been reported to destroy natural habitat on the island of Sumatra in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, palm oil is an introduced crop in Southeast Asia where large scale plantations exist, but in areas where it is native, most of the production is by small-scale sustainable operations, particularly in Africa. Hence, if you are purchasing virgin red palm oil from one of those areas, not only are you purchasing a healthy and sustainable product, but you are also helping to provide jobs for people in some of the poorest areas of the world in Africa.

As Case Adams reports here, these mixed forms of vitamin E with their super high levels of antioxidants have been shown to slow cognition decline and Alzheimer’s Disease.

read more


Get the news right in your inbox!