Tag Archive : FDA

Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw sue the FDA for qualified Health Claims 1999

At the behest of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, Emord & Associates sued the FDA in the 1990s for refusing Pearson and Shaw’s request to authorize four specific health claims for dietary supplements.  Pearson and Shaw sought agency approval of claims associating antioxidant vitamins with cancer risk reduction; omega-3 fatty acids with vascular disease risk reduction; folic acid with neural tube defect risk reduction; and fiber with colorectal cancer risk reduction.  In particular, Pearson and Shaw argued that if FDA did not approve the claims under its “significant scientific agreement” standard, it nevertheless had to allow them to comply with the First Amendment, resorting to a succinct disclaimer to communicate its doubts about the science supporting the claims.  The FDA refused to allow any of the claims or rely on claim qualification as a less speech restrictive alternative to outright suppression, and our firm, as Pearson and Shaw’s counsel, sued the agency.  That suit resulted in a landmark victory over the FDA before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Pearson v. Shalala (1999).

In Pearson v. Shalala, the D.C. Circuit agreed with Pearson and Shaw that FDA was obligated by the First Amendment to favor disclosure with accurate, succinct and reasonable disclaimers over suppression and to rely on claim qualification rather than outright suppression.  That then ultimately led to the FDA’s qualified claim regime, but only after Emord & Associates defeated the FDA several more times in federal court for refusing to abide by the Pearson v. Shalala decision.

Here are the decisions in which the firm defeated the FDA:

Pearson v. Shalala
Pearson v. Shalala, en banc
Pearson v. Shalala II
Pearson v. Thompson
Whitaker v. Thompson I
Whitaker v. Thompson II
Whitaker v. Thompson III

Alliance for Natural Health US v. Sebelius, et al.

Emord & Associates has petitioned the FDA for approximately 100 qualified health claims.  The following claims have been allowed by FDA either directly or after the firm has defeated the agency in federal court:

Antioxidant Vitamins C and E and Reduction in the Risk of Site-Specific Cancers

  • Vitamin C

Gastric (Stomach) Cancer:  “One weak study and one study with inconsistent results suggest that vitamin C supplements may reduce the risk of gastric cancer. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly uncertain that vitamin C supplements reduce the risk of gastric cancer.”

  • Vitamin E

Bladder Cancer:  “One small study suggests that vitamin E supplements may reduce the risk of bladder cancer. However, two small studies showed no reduction of risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that vitamin E supplements reduce the risk of bladder cancer.”

Colorectal Cancer:  “Two weak studies and one study with inconsistent results suggest that vitamin E supplements may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. However, another limited study showed no reduction of risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that vitamin E supplements reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.”

Renal Cell Cancer:  “One weak and limited study suggests that vitamin E supplements may reduce the risk of renal cell cancer. FDA concludes that it is highly uncertain that vitamin E supplements reduce the risk of renal cell cancer.”

Antioxidant Vitamins and Risk of Certain Cancers

  • “Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of antioxidant vitamins may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. However, FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive.”
  • “Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of antioxidant vitamins may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. However, FDA does not endorse this claim because this evidence is limited and not conclusive.”
  • “FDA has determined that although some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of antioxidant vitamins may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, this evidence is limited and not conclusive.”

B Vitamins and Vascular Disease

  • “As part of a well-balanced diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 may reduce the risk of vascular disease.  FDA evaluated the above claim and found that, while it is known that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease and other vascular diseases, the evidence in support of the above claim is inconclusive.”

Calcium and Colon/Rectal Cancers and Recurrent Colon Polyps

  • “Some evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of colon/rectal cancer, however, FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive.”
  • “Very limited and preliminary evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of colon/rectal polyps. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.”

Calcium and Hypertension; Pregnancy Induced Hypertension; and Preeclampsia

  • “Some scientific evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of hypertension. However, FDA has determined that the evidence is inconsistent and not conclusive.”
  • “Four studies, including a large clinical trial, do not show that calcium supplements reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension during pregnancy. However, three other studies suggest that calcium supplements may reduce the risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that calcium supplements reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension.”
  • “Three studies, including a large clinical trial, do not show that calcium supplements reduce the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy. However, two other studies suggest that calcium supplements may reduce the risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that calcium supplements reduce the risk of preeclampsia.”

Chromium Picolinate and Insulin Resistance

  • “One small study suggests that chromium picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and therefore possibly may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. FDA concludes, however, that the existence of such a relationship between chromium picolinate and either insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes is highly uncertain.”

Folic Acid and Neural Tube Defects (and here)

  • “0.8 mg folic acid in a dietary supplement is more effective in reducing the risk of neural tube defects than a lower amount in foods in common form. FDA does not endorse this claim. Public health authorities recommend that women consume 0.4 mg folic acid daily from fortified foods or dietary supplements or both to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.”
  • “Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences recommends that women capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 mcg folate daily from supplements, fortified foods, or both, in addition to consuming food folate from a varied diet.”
  • “Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect. The scientific evidence that 400 mcg folic acid daily reduces the risk of such defects is stronger than the evidence for the effectiveness of lower amounts. This is because most such tests have not looked at amounts less than 400 mcg folic acid daily.”
  • “Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect. Women capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 mcg folate/day from fortified foods and/or a supplement, in addition to food folate from a varied diet. It is not known whether the same level of protection can be achieved by using only food that is naturally rich in folate. Neither is it known whether lower intakes would be protective or whether there is a threshold below which no protection occurs.”
  • “Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect. Women capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 mcg of folate per day from a supplement or fortified foods and consume food folate from a varied diet. It is not known whether the same level of protection can be achieved by using lower amounts.”

Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 and Vascular Disease

  • “It is known that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. The scientific evidence about whether folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 may also reduce the risk of heart disease and other vascular diseases is suggestive, but not conclusive. Studies in the general population have generally found that these vitamins lower homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood. It is not known whether elevated levels of homocysteine may cause vascular disease or whether high homocysteine levels are caused by other factors. Studies that will directly evaluate whether reducing homocysteine may also reduce the risk of vascular disease are not yet complete.”

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

  • “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  One serving of [Name of the food] provides [  ] gram of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.  [See nutrition information for total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content.]”

Phosphatidylserine and Cognitive Dysfunction and Dementia (and here and here)

  • Dementia:  “Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.  Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.”
  • Cognitive dysfunction:  “Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.”

Selenium and Reduced Risk of Site-specific Cancers

  • Bladder Cancer:  “One study suggests that selenium intake may reduce the risk of bladder cancer in women.  However, one smaller study showed no reduction in risk.  Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly uncertain that selenium supplements reduce the risk of bladder cancer in women.”  
  • Prostate Cancer:  “Two weak studies suggest that selenium intake may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, four stronger studies and three weak studies showed no reduction in risk.  Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that selenium supplements reduce the risk of prostate cancer.”
  • Thyroid Cancer:  “One weak, small study suggests that selenium intake may reduce the risk of thyroid cancer. Based on this study, FDA concludes that it is highly uncertain that selenium supplements reduce the risk of thyroid cancer.”

Tomatoes and Prostate, Ovarian, Gastric and Pancreatic Cancers

  • Prostate Cancer:  “Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that eating one-half to one cup of tomatoes and/or tomato sauce a week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.”
  • Gastric Cancer:  “Four studies did not show that tomato intake reduces the risk of gastric cancer, but three studies suggest that tomato intake may reduce this risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is unlikely that tomatoes reduce the risk of gastric cancer.”
  • Ovarian Cancer:  “One study suggests that consumption of tomato sauce two times per week may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer; while this same study shows that consumption of tomatoes or tomato juice had no effect on ovarian cancer risk. FDA concludes that it is highly uncertain that tomato sauce reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.”
  • Pancreatic Cancer:  “One study suggests that consuming tomatoes does not reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, but one weaker, more limited study suggests that consuming tomatoes may reduce this risk.

Information sourced directly from Emord and Associates.

Emord & Associates has extensive experience in prosecuting health claim petitions before the FDA.  Indeed, the qualified health claim regime at FDA is a result of the landmark decision reached in Pearson v. Shalala (1999) in which the firm served as lead counsel for the victorious plaintiffs. http://emord.com/firm-profile/health-claims/

Know the Facts on Supplement Safety – NPA Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. 10.14.2015

Dear NPA member:97-of-dietitians-recommend-supplements-CRN-survey_dnm_headline

We have learned about a new “study” that will be released at 5 pm ET today that, among other things, suggests that 23,000 people per year visit an emergency room due to dietary supplements.  Despite being funded in part by FDA and being co-authored by FDA officials, this number was NOT derived from the official AER reporting data (which showed about 3,300 AERs in 2012), a point we are stressing to media.  We will forward the study as soon as it is made public.  Other points the study tries to make is to suggest that all supplements should come in childproof packaging and that supplements in pill form should conform to the 22 mm standard for pharmaceuticals.  We are saying that many supplements including iron already come in childproof packaging so additional requirements are unnecessary.

We know that USA Today will be writing a story on the study and have already conducted an interview with the reporter, Liz Szabo.  Our main points will be reflected in our official NPA news release, but these are some of the views we shared with the reporter this morning:

“The facts are that adverse events from supplements are extremely low given their widespread usage, and most of these are the result of three factors:  accidents, people not consulting with their doctor, or misuse of a product combined with other health factors.  Supplements are safe, which is why millions of Americans use them every day.”

  1. Dietary supplements have a mandatory serious adverse event reporting requirement and those data are available – be happy to show that to you.
  2. The official AER data shows a much different picture, with fewer than 3,300 happening in 2012.
  3. Hospitals are ADDING supplements to formularies – if hospitals thought there were legitimate concerns this wouldn’t be happening.
  4. Weight loss, body building and sexual enhancement are the top three problem areas in our industry, because that’s where we see the most internet, fly-by-night outfits that don’t adhere to good manufacturing practices.
  5. Everyone needs to consult with their doctor or caregiver, and especially those who use some of the products in these areas.
  6. Supplements are safe, which is why millions of Americans use them every day.
  7. The facts are that adverse events from natural supplements are extremely low especially compared to pharmaceuticals, which is why demand for natural alternatives is growing.
  8. The facts are that adverse events from supplements is extremely low given the widespread usage, and most of these are the result of three factors:  accidents, people not consulting with their doctor, or misuse of a product combined with other health factors.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions about this and will share information as soon as it becomes available.

Best regards,

CEO & Executive Director, NPA

1773 T Street, NW

Washington, DC 20009

FDA Structure/Function Claims

life-priority-logo

Life Priority, since 1994, has undergone two FDA inspections and would love to make you aware of the importance of the FDA and their involvement in the health and nutrition industry. Please see below the current structure/function claims that regulate and support the education of consumers.  We appreciate the ability to support you and your health with scientifically formulated, FDA inspected, health and nutritional products. The most important investment you can make is in your health and well-being.

 

FDA Supplement Structure Function Claims:

Dietary Supplements 

Structure/function claims have historically appeared on the labels of conventional foods and dietary supplements as well as drugs. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) established some special regulatory requirements and procedures for structure/function claims and two related types of dietary supplement labeling claims, claims of general well-being and claims related to a nutrient deficiency disease. Structure/function claims may describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the normal structure or function of the human body, for example, “calcium builds strong bones.” In addition, they may characterize the means by which a nutrient or dietary ingredient acts to maintain such structure or function, for example, “fiber maintains bowel regularity,” or “antioxidants maintain cell integrity.” General well-being claims describe general well-being from consumption of a nutrient or dietary ingredient. Nutrient deficiency disease claims describe a benefit related to a nutrient deficiency disease (like vitamin C and scurvy), but such claims are allowed only if they also say how widespread such a disease is in the United States. These three types of claims are not pre-approved by FDA, but the manufacturer must have substantiation that the claim is truthful and not misleading and must submit a notification with the text of the claim to FDA no later than 30 days after marketing the dietary supplement with the claim. If a dietary supplement label includes such a claim, it must state in a “disclaimer” that FDA has not evaluated the claim. The disclaimer must also state that the dietary supplement product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,” because only a drug can legally make such a claim. For more information about the difference between structure/function claims and disease claims, see 21 CFR 101.93, entitled “Certain Types of Statements for Dietary Supplements,” and FDA’s January 6, 2000 final rule entitled “Regulations on Statements Made for Dietary Supplements Concerning the Effect of the Product on the Structure or Function of the Body” (65 Fed. Reg. 1000).

 

For more information about the FDA and supplements, please visit the link below:

https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/labelingnutrition/ucm2006881.htm

What Happened to all the Life Priority Blogs?

What Happened to the Life Priority BlogsAs you’ve probably already noticed, we have removed all of our previous blog entries from The Life Priority Blog! Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Why?”. In response to a recent letter received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we made the choice to remove all of our blog content while we had a chance to review it.

Due to some highly technical details, known as Structure/Function Claims, it was brought to our attention that the FDA considered some of our blog information and/or website descriptions to make drug related claims at treating specific diseases.

As we’re sure you already know, we always aim to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information possible! So, while we review this content, we made the decision to pull the content to avoid any confusion.

We still have archived versions of all of our previous blogs! So, if you need any information on a specific topic, or really enjoyed one of the blogs, please email us at customerservice@lifepriority.com or call us at 800-787-5438.

For more details, please refer to this Open Letter to Our Customers from Life Priority owners Greg & Michelle Prior!

FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients

FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drug products. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA):

  • Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded.  That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.
  • FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.

This section provides detailed information about:http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/