The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has asked the Food and Drug Administration to stop seven egg producers from implying that their eggs can reduce the risk of heart disease. The consumer group says egg producers should not be making heart-healthy claims, because the FDA specifically prohibits such claims on eggs and other foods high in cholesterol or saturated fat.
“Egg producers have used the Omega-3 buzzword to bilk health-conscious consumers—and so far they’ve gotten away with it,” claims CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson. “The FDA should start enforcing its own rules instead of letting companies hoodwink shoppers with a myriad of misleading and downright inaccurate claims on labels, ads, and Web sites,” he states.
CSPI says that egg producers take advantage of consumers’ limited knowledge of the different types of Omega-3s. While the FDA permits claims for a possible reduced risk of heart disease linked to two kinds of Omega-3s, DHA and EPA, the agency does not allow such claims for other Omega-3s, the group says. CSPI says it commissioned a lab test that found that less than half of the advertised 350 mg of Omega-3s in one company’s egg came from EPA and DHA. Even the eggs with the most DHA and EPA contain no more of those Omega-3s than the amount in one and a half teaspoons of salmon, the richest source of Omega-3s, according to CSPI.