The FDA has scheduled a public hearing on the regulation of foods being marketed as “functional foods.” According to this Federal Register Notice, the purpose of the hearing is “for the agency to share its current regulatory framework and rationale regarding the safety evaluation and labeling of these foods, and to solicit information and comments from interested persons on how FDA should regulate these foods under the agency’s existing legal authority.”
- To make an oral presentation, Nov. 14th
- To participate, Nov. 28th
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The hearing will likely address the FDA’s past complaints that take direct aim at typical functional food properties and marketing strategies.
To get a better idea of what is at stake here, take a look at the this warning letter the FDA sent in May of this year to candy conglomerate Mars. Mars subsidiary Masterfoods recently launched a new line of functional foods called CocoaVia. The CocoaVia brand is marketed as “heart healthy” chocolate with such claims as “Promotes a Healthy Heart” and “Now you can have real chocolate pleasure with real heart health benefits.”
The functional food market includes big players. Some have forecast that the functional foods business could top $165bn by the end of the decade. There is a great deal at stake here.