Wednesday, 11 July 2007

When Science and Common Sense Collide, Part 2

This really defies common sense. Nutritious foods will get banned unless proven to be nutritious? Read on.

Products claiming to be superfoods will be banned under new EU rules coming into effect on Sunday - unless the claim can be proved.

Blueberries, salmon, spinach and soy have all been hailed as so-called superfoods - foods rich in nutrients.

Some say superfoods can protect against cancer and heart disease, but others say there is no evidence for this.

The new laws will apply to all food or drink products made or sold for human consumption within EU nations.

Almost 100 products have been described as superfood, and sales of products like blueberries and spinach have soared.

But some nutritionists claim there are no proven benefits of "superfoods" and say marketing is misleading.

I think the problem lies on how the regulatory body will decide which claim is acceptable or not. Surely they will depend on studies, but how strongly they feel that the evidence is solid may be in question. It took a LONG while for the American Heart Association to admit that omega-3 has heart benefits, and even then it has watered-down the claims.

I am not a conspiracy junkie, but I think the worst thing that can happen is that the members of the board are connected with drug companies -- companies that care nothing about prevention and thrive on disease. Thus, what will happen is that there is a slim chance a superfood's claims of prevention or even treatment may not be approved because of conflict of interest.

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