UEP files comments on FDA rules for healthy claims

January 12, 2017

Eggs are a nutrient-rich food that should be eligible to be advertised as “healthy,” UEP said in comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has invited public comment on whether current rules for using a “healthy” claim should be revised.

Formal changes would require rulemaking, but FDA has taken an interim step that will allow foods to call themselves “healthy” even if they are not low in total fat, as currently required. The foods must be good sources of one or more key nutrients (protein, for eggs). Less than half the fat in the foods must come from saturated fat, and eggs meet that test.

But eggs fail two tests that FDA did not waive: They are not technically low in saturated fat (even though they come close), and the regulations still include a cholesterol threshold that eggs cannot meet. Despite the fact that the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer recommend limiting daily cholesterol intake, FDA has not changed its regulation – which means any food with more than 60 milligrams of cholesterol per serving cannot call itself “healthy.”

“FDA’s regulatory threshold for cholesterol content is outdated and should be deleted,” UEP President Chad Gregory wrote in the comment letter. Gregory also said foods should be able to make a “healthy” claim even if they are not low in saturated fat, as long as the foods “are specifically identified as nutrient-dense in the [Dietary Guidelines for Americans]” and meet FDA’s other requirements.

FDA recently extended the comment period on “healthy” claims until April 26, so a decision on any changes will await the new Administration.