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Benecol maker petitions FDA for heart disease claim

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, maker of Benecol foods, has petitioned the FDA to allow a claim of heart disease risk reduction for its products, which contain stanol esters derived from pine trees. When taken in conjunction with certain prescription drugs, plant stanol esters appear to reduce total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The FDA currently permits a heart disease risk reduction claim for oat bran, psyllium, and soy protein. However, FDA rules disallow this type of health claim for products, such as Benecol, which contain too much fat and less than 10 percent of the RDA for many nutrients. McNeil hopes to be exempted from these minimum nutrition requirements. The Tan Sheet, June 5, 2000.

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