F.D.A. approves health claim for vitamin D

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday finalized an amendment to add vitamin D to the approved health claim for calcium and reduced risk of osteoporosis, and also approved an additional health claim for the nutrient pair and osteoporosis. The F.D.A. also removed certain labeling requirements associated with the health claim, including disclosure of specific risk factors and benefit levels.

The ruling, which appeared in the Sept. 29 Federal Register, comes in response to a petition filed by the Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness L.L.C. The rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2010.

According to the F.D.A., very few products currently bear the calcium and osteoporosis health claim, but by giving the option to do so, it opens the door for more companies to do so.

"Health claims can inform consumers about diet-disease relationships and encourage producers to produce more healthful foods," the F.D.A. said. "This final rule will allow producers to make more nutrition information related to osteoporosis available to consumers (linking the intake of calcium and vitamin D to the risk of osteoporosis), while eliminating other information currently required to be given to consumers when claiming health benefits relating to the relationship between calcium intake and the risk of osteoporosis."

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