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FDA Releases Proposed Rule on New Vitamin D and Calcium Health Claim

Jan 08, 2007

FDA Releases Proposed Rule on New Vitamin D and Calcium Health Claim

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Friday released a proposed rule for an updated health claim to tout the role of vitamin D together with calcium to reduce the risk for osteoporosis and to build and maintain good bone health. Milk cartons, yogurt packages and even some fat-free cheeses could soon display this new health claim since milk and dairy products are the number one source of dietary calcium in the American diet and milk is an excellent source of vitamin D.

"This new rule will allow for more flexibility for marketing the health and nutritional benefits of dairy products," said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs. "It will also allow manufacturers to use more consumer-friendly language on product labels, helping consumers to focus on the role that Vitamin D plays in aiding calcium to help build stronger bones."

Once final, the proposed rule would allow reduced-fat, lowfat and fat-free milk and other eligible dairy products to display a health claim that states, "Physical activity and adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis," or "may build and maintain good bone health."

IDFA plans to submit comments in support of the proposed rule and would like to hear from members about their individual concerns or suggestions before March 21, the end of the public comment period. Click here to view the proposed rule. Members may send their comments to Frye at

According to the federal government, more than 70% of the calcium in our nation's food supply comes from milk and milk products. Milk and many dairy products are also good sources of vitamin D, a necessary nutrient for the body to properly absorb calcium and maintain bone strength.

"For the past few years, many yogurt companies have chosen to fortify yogurt products with Vitamin D, so they'll be looking forward to using this new health claim, too," Frye said.

Unfortunately, the average American diet is low in both vitamin D and calcium, and 55% of women and men aged 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis. The new FDA-approved health claim will help to direct American shoppers to the best sources of vitamin D and calcium to help prevent this disease.

Other foods that are excellent sources of vitamin D and calcium will also qualify for this health claim, as long as they supply at least 200 mg of calcium and 80 IU of vitamin D per serving. Milk and milk products are optimal choices, however, because they contain additional nutrients that are essential for building and maintaining strong bones, such as protein, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

For more information, contact Frye at or 202-220-3543.



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Posted January 8, 2007


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