Food Labels Qualified Health Claims in
Food Label News reported on a measure in the U.S.
House of Representatives 2008 Appropriations Act
(H.R.3161) that would prevent FDA from
authorizing qualified health claims for
conventional foods. The restriction on FDA from
allowing the claims depended on language in the
final appropriations bill that President Bush
would eventually sign.
On December 26, 2007, the President did sign the
Appropriations Act of 2008 (Consolidated
Appropriations Act of 2008 H.R.2764) into law.
The "Explanatory Statement" regarding the
Appropriations in H.R.2764 includes language
relating to qualified health claims, including:
Congress believes "FDA may have exceeded its
statutory authority when the agency decided
to begin allowing the use of qualified
health claims for conventional foods in
2003. Such claims are not based on the
standard of "significant scientific
agreement'' set forth in the Nutrition
Labeling and Education Act."
Congress requests "a report from the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) on
qualified health claims and ask that GAO
work with the Committees on Appropriations
of the House and Senate on the parameters of
Congress urges FDA "not to use funds
provided in this bill to review requests for
qualified health claims for conventional
foods or to issue letters permitting such
claims through exercises of enforcement
discretion until the independent analysis is
Congress directs FDA to provide all
requested reports and studies within 60 days
after enactment of this Act.
Also, in the
of December 21, 2007, FDA announced that
the Agency intended to
scientific evidence for two previously
authorized health claims and two qualified
health claims that were the subject of letters
of enforcement discretion.
Access H.R.3161 and H.R.2764 at
(use "Search Bill Text").
Access "Explanatory Statement" at
Choose "Congressional Record," then "Browse
Daily Issues," then "House" on December 17,
2007, then item 92, then page H15765.
Commentary: FDA was contacted about
the language in the explanatory statement but
did not respond prior to publication of Food