Acai Berry, pomegranate juice, mangosteen-and the FDA

Acai Berry, pomegranate juice, mangosteen- and the FDA.

Acai Berry, Pomegranate juice, Mangosteen juice, etc.  They all claim a deep luscious taste and healthy nutritional value.

Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set their sights on “functional” beverage producers.  Recently the FDA sent letters to 5 Ready to Drink (RTD) beverage companies citing ingredient and health claim violations.  The list included Nestle’s Juicy Juice, Drank, First Juice, POM Wonderful, and Redco Food, Inc. (Salada Tea).

In November, the FDA sent letters to firms marketing alcohol/energy drink hybrids.  The agency wanted proof that the drinks were safe.

This time, the FDA took aim at Drank about the safety of the hormone melatonin in one of their beverages, POM Wonderful about its claims that pomegranate juice could help consumers improve blood pressure, cut the risk of prostate cancer, and improve their love life (ED). The FDA says the producer’s claims are more like pharmaceuticals than beverages.

POM Wonderful responded, “All statements made in connection with POM products are true and supported by unprecedented scientific research.  We are currently reviewing the FDA’s concerns and, as strong advocates of honest labeling and fair advertising, we are looking forward to working with the agency to resolve this matter.”  The written statement went on to say, “Once the FDA reviews and better understands the substantial science, we are confident that the agency will agree with our position.” (from Beverage Spectrum)

Functional beverages use functional claims to boost sales of their products.  Whether or not they do “function” as promised remains to be seen.

In the meantime, all food and beverage producers who claim their products to be “functional”, need to be aware that, as the parrot said to the burglar, “Jesus is watching you.” (The FDA Rotweiller, not the God/Man!)

  • Roget

    The supplement, food additive and natural products industry has made a fortune through borderline marketing and powerful lobbing in Washington. Their "scientific" proof is often an overextension of a finding, or an overinterpretation at best. Very few have held up to rigorous review.It is amzing what people will believe and spend their money on. I think it gives individuals a sense of control over their own health and that is comforting and may even have a placebo effect. But be careful what you choose to believe.

  • toad

    bs. the FDA is just supporting the medical monopoly.

  • tdlm

    In the end, this will end up the same as it always does — with the FDA in the pockets of these companies. Meh.