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FDA to Allow Health Claims for Barley-Containing Foods

Manufacturers can claim cardiovascular health benefits for barley-containing food products

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that whole-grain barley and barley-containing products can include claims of cardiovascular benefits on the product labeling.

The FDA based its approval on scientific studies showing that soluble fiber, such as barley, can reduce total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and that lowering these levels reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The product must contain at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving to qualify for the claim.

"Promoting health by helping people get better nutrition information about the foods they eat is among FDA's top priorities," FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, Scott Gottlieb, M.D., commented in the agency's approval notice. He added that the FDA wants to "reward companies that make healthier products, while [enforcing] the law against companies that appeal to consumers through false and misleading health claims."

Through issuance of an interim final rule, the FDA will allow food manufacturers to begin using the claim immediately. FDA is accepting public comment on the interim final rule for 75 days. Comments should be submitted to Docket No. 2004P-0512 via the FDA Web site, the Federal eRulemaking portal or by mail, courier or hand delivery.

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