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For Immediate
Release:
April 4, 2001

For more information:
202/332-9110

Related Links:
List of food products CSPI has asked FDA to prohibit


  Council of Better Business Bureaus Urges FDA to Halt Misleading Arizona Tea Labels
Statement of director of legal affairs Bruce Silverglade

Washington, D.C. - The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) issued the following statement concerning the Council of Better Business Bureau’s request that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration halt false and misleading labels for Arizona “Rx Memory Mind Elixir” tea beverage containing ginkgo biloba.

     “We urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promptly act on the Council of Better Business Bureau’s request to halt false and misleading labels for Arizona Rx Memory Mind Elixir. The beverage contains ginkgo biloba which is not recognized by the FDA as safe for use in food, and misleadingly claims to enhance memory. Although CSPI urged the FDA to remove this product from the market in July 2000, the agency has not taken any action. We hope the Better Business Bureau’s request will finally convince the FDA that enforcement action is warranted.

     “We further urge the FDA to take action against the more than 100 other functional foods that we brought to the agency’s attention. All of these products make misleading claims and/or contain ingredients not generally recognized as safe for use in food. Functional foods may represent a major public health advance or amount to little more than 21st century quackery — it all depends on whether the FDA ensures that ingredients are safe and that claims are valid.”