CRN urges FDA to reconsider “food groups-only” approach

Published: 30-Mar-2023

CRN’s comments to FDA emphasised the value of including dietary supplements and functional foods

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement and functional food industry, today submitted comments to FDA on its proposed rule updating the “healthy” implied nutrient content claim.  

CRN’s comments to FDA emphasised the value of including dietary supplements and functional foods in the final rule and urged the agency to reconsider its “food groups-only” approach.

CRN Vice President, Regulatory and Nutrition Policy, Haiuyen Nguyen said: “Because FDA took a food groups-based approach to defining ‘healthy,’ there’s a missed opportunity for providing consumers information on a wider variety of innovative, healthy products, including functional foods and dietary supplements, and how they could play a role in supporting healthy diets that help prevent nutrition-related chronic diseases.” 

Nguyen added: “Dietary supplements contain added nutrients and are typically not able to meet the proposed requirements for products to contain recommended food groups in order to make the ‘healthy’claim, and CRN’s comments suggest an additional approach.” 

CRN’s comments note:

  • An additional approach based on "nutrients to encourage" and "nutrients to limit" is needed to allow a variety of formulated foods and dietary supplements that can contribute to overall consumption of a variety of nutrients important for maintaining and supporting good health to bear the “healthy” claim.
  • FDA’s regulation defining this claim should be appropriately flexible to facilitate manufacturers in providing healthy, innovative products that meet diverse consumer needs and preferences.

CRN’s comments also called for FDA to clearly and narrowly define the “nutrition context” of the “healthy” nutrient content claim to avoid misinterpretations of the term “healthy” when appropriately used in other contexts, in a manner that is truthful and not misleading, including in structure/function claims, health claims, qualified health claims, general consumption guidance, and company and brand names.

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