You have GOT to be kidding.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for exhaustively testing and regulating every foodstuff that is sold in the country. People rely on its process and recommendations but never hold it culpable when it is proven wrong.
When cold, hard evidence is presented that contradicts its findings, no one seems to care when it is ignored by this powerful government agency. But this is just silly.
FDA makes bizarre claim
Diamond Walnuts, a large producer of walnuts in California (also the parent company of Kettle potato chips), printed some of the health benefits of walnuts on its packaging–all of which have been scientifically verified. As a result, it was issued a warning letter by the FDA stating that:
“…your walnut products are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act)…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…your walnut products are also new drugs…because they are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced conditions. Therefore,…they may not be legally marketed with the above claims in the United States without an approved new drug application. Additionally, your walnut products 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 overdose on walnuts? Hardly.
FDA specifies the offensive wording on the packaging. Our citations follow each of these–published scientific studies that support the wording on the labels–and these just skim the surface:
- “Studies indicate that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts may help lower cholesterol; protect against heart disease, stroke and some cancers; ease arthritis and other inflammatory diseases; and even fight depression and other mental illnesses.”  
- “[O]mega-3 fatty acids inhibit the tumor growth that is promoted by the acids found in other fats … “
- “[I]n treating major depression, for example, omega-3s seem to work by making it easier for brain cell receptors to process mood-related signals from neighboring neurons.”
- “The omega-3s found in fish oil are thought to be responsible for the significantly lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women as compared to women in the United States.”
- “Studies have also shown that omega-3s may lower the risk of stroke …” 
- “[T]here’s good evidence that omega-3s can increase HDL (good cholesterol), further reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.”
FDA: do your homework.
For the rest of us, this is a loud wake-up call. The FDA has repeatedly ignored evidence of toxic chemicals in food. Examples: aspartame, fluoride, sodium benzoate (a preservative), food additives, high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic vitamins, pharmaceuticals, genetically-modified organisms, and more. So they ignore what’s bad and reprimand a company for touting the health benefits of a natural product?
The consequences in the letter are clear:
“You should take prompt action to correct these violations. Failure to do so may result in regulatory action without further notice. Such action may include, but is not limited to, seizure or injunction.”
It seems Diamond has complied; searching through its website, we found only this in reference to omega-3s:
“Contains 2.5g of Omega-3 per serving.”
When threatened with being shut down, it really had no choice but to comply.
We won’t speculate here as to the reasons for this ridiculous yet serious situation. What we will do is offer you some great-tasting recipes using walnuts to support brain, heart, and overall health. Because science says so.
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