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  • Debra Topham

Eat your peanuts!

Moms are always saying to their kids – “eat your veggies.”  Now add “Eat your Peanuts!” to the list.  But read the fine print before you go off and make any new claims.

The FDA now acknowledges that there is sufficient evidence”Linking Early Peanut Introduction and Reduced Risk of Developing Peanut Allergy

As a new qualified health claim you may now start saying:

For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study.
If your infant has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

Clearly this is not a broad blanket statement. But this is a great step forward for the food industry. First, Assured Bites, proves that a company can petition for a qualified claim; and secondly they serve as a real example as to what’s needed to meet the FDA’s rigorous standards.

This also provides the starting point to become  an authorized health claim.

The FDA provides a nice explanation between the “qualified” versus “authorized” health claim:  “The qualified health claim was in response to a petition filed by Assured Bites, Inc. Qualified health claims are not the same as “authorized health claims,” which must be supported by significant scientific agreement among experts in the field. Qualified health claims are supported by credible scientific evidence, but do not meet the more rigorous “significant scientific agreement” standard required for an authorized health claim. As such, they are accompanied by qualifying language or a disclaimer so that the level of scientific evidence supporting the claim is accurately communicated.”

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