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New health claims for fiber, folic acid, not approved

On October 11, FDA announced that a health claim stating that increased dietary fiber cuts the risk of developing colorectal cancer will not be permitted because "evidence against the claim outweigh[s] the evidence for it." The agency also determined that higher levels of folic acid like those found in supplements are not more effective at reducing the risk of neural tube defects than the lower levels typically obtained from food. At press time, FDA had yet to issue decisions on the remaining two health claims mentioned in Pearson vs. Shalala concerning antioxidants and cancer, and omega-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease. FDA Talk Paper, Oct. 11, 2000.

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