Sunday, February 16, 2003 - High cholesterol? Head for Aisle 3

[This Toronto Star article suggests in a dozen years or so we could enter supermarkets and have individual food products "prescribed" to treat health problems. The whole thing makes me want to run screaming the othe rway to the farmer's market. There's a brief reference to DHA in infant formula in this article. - JC]

" Health Canada allows nutrients to be added to 27 other products; for example, vitamin C in fruit drinks and dried potatoes, and the eggs with an Omega-3 boost. A new infant formula incorporates a plant chemical called DHA, found in breast milk and considered vital to development of the brain and eyes. But while these might be considered functional foods, they can't make health claims; their labels can't state what the added ingredients are supposed to do.

On the other hand, not all enriched foods are functional foods. Some are refined to nothing but empty calories and packed with sugar, fat or salt.

Health claims are the industry's Holy Grail. They're what make a product burst on to the scene, says Clough. "When a company can say `oats help to reduce cholesterol,' the gun goes off."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pushed by court rulings and strong industry lobbying, has approved 14 claims, including some specific to certain products...."