On April 28, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Final Rule prohibiting certain "nutrient content claims" for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 fatty acids. Although the nutrient content claims for DHA, EPA and the ALA based on the population-weighted approach were rejected, FDA stated that no regulatory action would be taken against nutrient content claims for ALA based on the population-coverage adequate-intake (AI) level.
It is uncertain whether these actions will protect the public health. Indeed, the complexities associated with developing reference values for nutrients based on Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) or Daily Reference Values (DRVs) raise issues as to whether consumers understand the meaning of nutrient content claims such as "good source" or "high in." Moreover, it appears that First Amendment issues may be raised under this Final Rule considering commercial speech may have been unnecessarily limited merely because such nutrient content claims rely on more than one method of assessing a nutrient level.
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