Extract from Alternatives, July 2010 by Dr. David Williams - reprinted by permission

"Nuts” to the FDA

     Instead of warning the public about the dangers of people dying from the use of NSAIDs (see the “Pain Relief” news item on page 100), apparently the FDA has more important issues to address, like making sure consumers don’t confuse their trail mix for drugs.

      In February, the agency sent a warning letter to Diamond Food, the world’s largest walnut producer. (I always have a bag in my freezer and eat them almost daily.) You can read the letter at:

http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm202825.htm

(As might be expected, the Government has removed this page.)

     In a nutshell (sorry, I couldn’t resist), the FDA felt a pressing need to flex its enforcement biceps because Diamond stated that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in walnuts may help lower cholesterol, help depression, and protect against stroke and heart disease and some cancers. In the letter, the FDA states: “We have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for the use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease” and, “because of these intended uses, your walnut products are drugs” and “your walnut products are also new drugs under section…”

      News flash to the FDA: walnuts do, in fact, contain omega-3 fatty acids. The most recent USDA Nutrient Database shows that one ounce (about 14 halves) of English walnuts contains 2.5 grams of alpha linolenic acid (ALA, the plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids). The body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, providing all of the same benefits as fish oil. 

      This whole fiasco is just more evidence that the FDA has become an agency out of control. They continue to shun their responsibility to the very people they should be answering to: us, the US public. It has become nothing more than another paid arm of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists, corrupt to the core. The FDA's jackboot enforcement tactics are continually focused on producers and sellers of natural foods and supplements that have become a thorn in the side of drug companies by offering safe, effective, and cheaper alternatives to their products. 

      Many of these supplements and foods, like walnuts, have volumes of research data to support the fact that they can help prevent disease and, in some cases, even reverse the course of disease. You have to question why the FDA exists at all when they can ignore decades of research undertaken by both private parties and even other government agencies like our own US Department of Agriculture, yet they can blindly and continually accept research without question from the pharmaceutical giants...