According to the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA), walnuts are drugs which may be subject to a drug-specialized screening process before being allowed onto the market.
Well this at least appears to be the case for Diamond Foods, a company started by a small group of Californian walnut farmers in 1912 .
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So when Diamond Food provided health information about the omega-3 fats in walnuts on their product packaging and web site, the FDA pounced on them….despite the information being true and backed by peer-reviewed scientific research.
Healthy holistic living reports: The primary cause of the beef that the FDA has with the company comes from Diamond Foods promoting the healthy benefits of eating walnuts regularly. Something that the FDA did not approve of – and why’s that? After all, walnuts have been shown to have a significantly positive impact on the health and maintenance of our blood, brain, kidneys, liver, and more.
To be specific, Diamond Foods mentioned that walnuts are a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids, which they really are. They also mentioned that these fatty acids have been shown to provide a number of healthy benefits, including a reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease. These relationships have been backed up by multiple articles and studies, dozens of which can be found in the US National Library of Medicine. They all have a scientific backing, so it’s not like somebody ripped the claims out of their butt and stamped them on a walnut package.
Nevertheless, the FDA sent Diamond Foods a very touchy, personal letter, aggressively stating that:
“Your walnut products are drugs…they may not legally be marketed in the United States without an approved new drug application.”
The last thing this country needs is to classify natural, healthy foods as drugs. With the bad rep around prescription drugs that have been pushed out by the FDA, putting healthy foods into the same category would just be an insult. After all, you don’t up your risk of ulcers or heart attacks with natural, organic fruits and vegetables – something that can’t be said for a number of the other products that the FDA labels as “drugs.”
Despite Diamond Foods being backed up by evidence that supports the benefits of eating walnuts, the FDA told them that their products were “misbranded.” Basically, the FDA didn’t like that a company was promoting health claims that they didn’t approve of – regardless of the scientific support.
Why is this a concern?
Well, it seems ridiculous that the FDA should be the final, highest authority over what is and isn’t good for you, especially with the amount of criticism that they get for some of their decisions. You’d be surprised at how often actual threats to human health make it past them.
But even then, the agency threatened Diamond Foods with a possible “seizure” if they did not comply with the warnings they set out. Below is an actual excerpt from the letter that Diamond Foods received:
“We have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease… are offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners; therefore, adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes.”
Can you imagine every package of your walnuts coming along with a set of directions for “use”? Since when do natural foods ever demand that kind of regulation? While dangerously addictive drugs are making it onto the market, walnuts and healthy alternatives are being pressured into illogical demands that have no place in the realm of organic eating. Where will the FDA draw the line?