31 October 2005

Tart Cherry Claims

The Washington Post last Friday reported that the US FDA has written 29 fruit growers and packagers about making false claims about their products and misleading people.

The main product in question concerns tart cherries.
"There's a lot of exuberance about cherries. Maybe that exuberance spread into statements that should not have been made," said Jane DePriest, marketing director for the Cherry Marketing Institute, a trade group that represents cherry farmers and marketers. "But no one, including the Cherry Marketing Institute and the companies involved, intended to mislead people." [Washington Post, Oct 28 2005]

The claims ranged from 'preventing cancer' to 'knocking out gout and heart disease.' I can't blame these guys. It was an excellent market strategy while it lasted. If you visit the some of the concerned websites, some of them have already edited and modified their health claims. From direct cures, the tone is now more objective, like a line that says: "Studies continue to develop showing the many health benefits that daily consumption of fruits can provide."

Fruits and veggies are still food items. They are not medicines or drugs which should undergo strict tests by the FDA before they go out into the market. Sure, they may reduce the risk of cancer or heart disease. But there is no solid guarantee. It may work, or it may NOT work.

It is good to hope, but in cases like this, I think hoping should be done within the bounds of reason and reality.

4 reactions:

duke said...

Here in istanbul they sell cherries by kilos! It's one of their main produce. I never saw an ad though claiming that these cherries have healing properties or so ( or maybe I just don't understand the ad coz it's in Turkish!)

Jet said...

People will really come up with all sorts of things in their search for the next best thing. I think there never was anything better than plain, old, clean and healthy living.

bayi said...

When I was in Greece in June, they were selling cherries for 3 euros a kg. It was cheap but unfortunately I wasn't really into cherries.

Whatever medical benefits claimed for the goodness of cherries, common sense will tell each consumer that you need to eat quite a lot of the cherries to get the benefits, that is, if the claims are true. However, if the cherries go with the tarts....obviously, that's a different story.

Dr E said...

Wow,Duke!By the kilos! I hope they have something like that back home.

Sick people are always anxious to get well, Jet. While that is understandable, care must be taken that they aren't mislead by false health claims.

Hello,Bayi! That's even cheaper. I'm also not a cherry fan.