F.D.A. proposes to amend calcium and vitamin D health claim

by Editorial Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to allow new claims on foods and dietary supplements containing calcium and vitamin D to show their potential to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The proposed rule would allow processors to include new information on their product labeling and eliminate certain information. The proposal is in response to a health claim petition submitted by the Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta.

Specifically, the F.D.A. is proposing to change the claim to add a claim for calcium and vitamin D together and a reduced risk of osteoporosis.

The agency is proposing to shorten the claim by dropping the reference to sex, race and age since the benefits apply to both sexes at all ages and race categories; dropping the need to identify the mechanism by which calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis; and dropping the requirement that the claim state there are limits to the benefit of calcium intake above 200% of the Daily Value.

"This is important information for all citizens," said Dr. Robert E. Brackett, director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition. "All persons lose bone with age, and the loss can influence an individual’s risk of developing osteoporosis. Maintenance of an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D in all stages of life can help lower one’s risk."

Dr. Mark Andon, director of nutrition for Tropicana Pure Products, Inc., a Coca-Cola brand, added, "Tropicana has believed vitamin D is critical for bone health and, when combined with calcium, works to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Americans do not get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diets. They need easier ways of consuming the recommended intake of these essential nutrients."

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