Walnuts should be re-categorized as drugs rather than food, the FDA have claimed.
The bizarre categorization is down to the health benefits of walnuts as made by Diamond Foods.
The company made claims that the omega3 fatty acids found in walnuts can help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration responded by arguing that their walnuts be classified as a ‘drug’ and not a food.
As reported by William Faloon in Life Extension magazine, Diamond Foods made “financial investments to educate the public and supply them with walnuts,”.
But Faloon backed up the claims attributed to walnuts, saying:
“Life Extension has published 57 articles that describe the health benefits of walnuts. 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.”
However, the FDA have argued against the claims, saying that the “product bears health claims that are not authorized by the FDA.”.
In the FDA’s letter, they explain why their unusual decision to re-brand the walnuts was made, stating :
“We have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease.”
The nature of this case and the stance taken by the FDA represents the wider problem of the confusion surrounding the branding of foods, and the problem the establishment has with health ‘claims’ that have been scientifically tested to be trivialized and ignored.