Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

I rarely start new threads having enough to do just keeping up with
other people's - but this topic needs exposure. Though only affecting
herbal teas so far:

http://www.americanchronicle.com/art...rticleID=41230

this, if true, it is likely to attract FDA heavy handed censorship in
Camellia sinensis marketing when the physiological benefits of EGCG
and theanine come to the fore.

Does anyone have more information about the FDA stance on this?

Nigel at Teacraft

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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

Ive looked a little at the fda on tea & health, in the beginning,
but i then focused on my main interest: drinking tea.

some articles i found:
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/597_tea.html
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/296_tea.html
http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2005/NEW01197.html
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qhc-gtea.html

imho they should 'censor' unfounded claims. just like they 'censor'
bad medicine.

it doesnt matter anyway because people will do as they have done for
hundreds of years: go on hearsay and speculation not on science and
proof.

if people want to take root of plant to cure their cancer or
_insert_disease_here_ people wont care what the FDA says.

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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

On Oct 26, 4:07 pm, SN > wrote:
>
> imho they should 'censor' unfounded claims. just like they 'censor'
> bad medicine.


I think you missed the point - the FDA are allegedly and simple
mindedly endeavouring to rid the market of any food of beverage that
has any other action upon the body other than purely nutritional -
this would be serious for tea which is undoubtedly (and like many
other foods and beverages) physiologically altering (caffeine for one)
and psychoactively altering (theanine for another) - read
http://www.americanchronicle.com/art...rticleID=41230
and see what the man has to say.

Nigel at Teacraft


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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

Nigel > writes:

> On Oct 26, 4:07 pm, SN > wrote:
> >
> > imho they should 'censor' unfounded claims. just like they 'censor'
> > bad medicine.

>
> I think you missed the point - the FDA are allegedly and simple
> mindedly endeavouring to rid the market of any food of beverage that
> has any other action upon the body other than purely nutritional -
> this would be serious for tea which is undoubtedly (and like many
> other foods and beverages) physiologically altering (caffeine for one)
> and psychoactively altering (theanine for another) - read
> http://www.americanchronicle.com/art...rticleID=41230
> and see what the man has to say.


Well, he does eventually say

Any herbal product that actually works will quickly find itself in the
FDA's crosshairs, especially if it is described with honest, accurate
language telling consumers the truth about what the product actually does.

after spending most of the article complaining about censorship. I
don't feel particularly comfortable touting the intelligence of the US
government, but I live under it, and I can't imagine them banning
coffee and tea.

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

Hi Nigel, nice to see you on the forum, I read the article and at
first glance its quite sobering. I would like to see the legislation
under which FDA outline these issues as they seem to be according to
the author so strict that it would be hard not to violate them. I t
seems that the author slams the FDA and has made some serious
allegations against them with regard to a MAFIA type modus operandi
with no evidince to back them up.He appears to be very aggressive and
angry with the FDA and the bias of the article becomes unbalanced.
With regard to tea, if coffee has been of no interest to FDA then I
believe that tea would be unaffected as well unsless the authors
accusations toward FDA are true but again the legal system in this
country is probably the most advanced in the world and any victim of
such action would stand a fair chance of exposing the FDA for
discrimination.



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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

On Oct 26, 2:46 pm, Nigel > wrote:
> I rarely start new threads having enough to do just keeping up with
> other people's - but this topic needs exposure. Though only affecting
> herbal teas so far:
>
> http://www.americanchronicle.com/art...sp?articleID=4...
>
> this, if true, it is likely to attract FDA heavy handed censorship in
> Camellia sinensis marketing when the physiological benefits of EGCG
> and theanine come to the fore.
>
> Does anyone have more information about the FDA stance on this?
>
> Nigel at Teacraft


FDA's stance with tea is that it is "generally recognised as safe", so
there is no danger of them ever banning it.

And as you kindly pointed out, the danger is in the providers who mis-
label the products.

In the past, FDA has disallowed labelling of tea products as anti-
cancer and anti-heart disease because there is "insufficient human
trials".

This is clearly plain silly and going against the scientific
community, as the risk/reward/cost so skew towards drinking tea that
discouraging it would overall be detrimental to the US population.

Having said that, I can't see FDA enforcing it. They can only pick
their targets carefully.

I would imagine FDA's stance having a big impact on large commercial
operations such as Lipton and Celestial seasonings as well as the
supplement companies and how they market their teas.

I imagine they would somehow get through it without "breaking the
letter of the law".

I herbal supplement market has been in FDA radar screen for a while
due to numerous case reports of side effects. So there really is no
surprise there FDA is taking action.

And by the way I love the author. I don't know if he is biased (I
haven't been studying the FDA), but it is such an informative read.

Thanks.

Julian
http://www.amazing-green-tea.com

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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

On Oct 27, 4:02 am, Nigel > wrote:
> On Oct 26, 4:07 pm, SN > wrote:
>
>
>
> > imho they should 'censor' unfounded claims. just like they 'censor'
> > bad medicine.

>
> I think you missed the point - the FDA are allegedly and simple
> mindedly endeavouring to rid the market of any food of beverage that
> has any other action upon the body other than purely nutritional -
> this would be serious for tea which is undoubtedly (and like many
> other foods and beverages) physiologically altering (caffeine for one)
> and psychoactively altering (theanine for another) - readhttp://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=4...
> and see what the man has to say.
>
> Nigel at Teacraft


A lot of people were similarly up in arms a while back about the FDA
banning all vitamins and supplements... it turned out to be nothing
and if anything companies like GNC/Vitamin World were the only ones
really worried. I do actually support the banning of tea-related
products that make outrageous claims. Weight-loss, energy, eyesight,
virility, etc... IMO they are false and just as companies continue to
sell Glucosamine and Condroitin for joints even though it has been
proven completely false and rendered useless by stomach acid. I don't
mind people drinking tea for the supposed health benefits only, I do
care about scum who market and get rich from extracts and pills that
are complete B.S. You'd think by now snake oil would no longer sell.
Maybe I'm just bitter that I'm not immoral enough to capitalize on it.

- Dominic

/Buy Jippo!
//Obscure Betty Boop reference

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On Oct 28, 10:06 am, "Dominic T." > wrote:
> scum who market and get rich from extracts and pills that
> are complete B.S.


yes. exactly.

~~~~~~~~~~

heres fda's page on dietary supplements: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/supplmnt.html
fda's label claims: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/lab-hlth.html
fda's label claims "that can be made" : http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/hclaims.html
~~~~~~~~~~

"the manufacturer is responsible for determining that the supplement
is safe and that any representations or claims made about it are
adequately substantiated.

Dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA before they
are marketed."

from NEJM 2006 - Nutritional Supplements for Knee Osteoarthritis -
Still No Resolution
~~~~~~~~~~

as for glucosamines etc, the thing is if they reach their target and
do any good there,
because pills can be coated so that they're not dissolved in the
stomach acid.
but i am not sure once/if absorbed that these compounds will increase
their synthesis/secretion in the joint itself.

thx Dominic, i wasnt up to date with this.

"differences between glucosamine sulfate and placebo were not
significant"
"chondroitin sulfate was not more efficacious than placebo is
unexpected...failed to demonstrate that two years of treatment with
chondroitin sulfate reduced symptoms or improved function"

and then of course, like all things involving studies...:

"Two randomized, placebo-controlled trials showed that three years of
treatment with glucosamine sulfate slowed radiologic progression of
osteoarthritis of the knee (a structure-modifying effect)16,17;
chondroitin sulfate was also found to slow radiologic progression of
osteoarthritis of the knee in a two-year, placebo-controlled trial."

and conclusion:
"On the basis of the results from GAIT, it seems prudent to tell our
patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee that neither
glucosamine hydrochloride nor chondroitin sulfate alone has been shown
to be more efficacious than placebo for the treatment of knee pain. If
patients choose to take dietary supplements to control their symptoms,
they should be advised to take glucosamine sulfate rather than
glucosamine hydrochloride and, for those with severe pain, that taking
chondroitin sulfate with glucosamine sulfate may have an additive
effect. Three months of treatment is a sufficient period for the
evaluation of efficacy; if there is no clinically significant decrease
in symptoms by this time, the supplements should be discontinued.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that these agents prevent
osteoarthritis in healthy persons or in persons with knee pain but
normal radiographs."
from NEJM 2006 - Nutritional Supplements for Knee Osteoarthritis -
Still No Resolution
~~~~~~~~~~

on one hand there might be an fda bias towards drugs, but on the other
hand US life expectancy keeps rising (due to medications which
decrease disease and prolong the life of sick people, and just as well
due to curbing of unhealthy habits like smoking)

also the dietary supplements,herbs market etc is pretty huge itself,
there are huge profits to be made just by throwing some dirt in a tube
or diluting to extinction some extract in water.
~~~~~~~~~~

on topic: there is no way the fda will ban tea or coffee. they might
ban some company selling tea/coffee with 'unfounded' health claims on
the label.

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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qa-ind5m.html

"In some cases, herbs may be used for drug purposes and they then
become subject to the drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and
Cosmetic Act discussed in Chapter II. " ? http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/rediiabc.pdf
?

...."If no therapeutic claims are made or implied in the labeling or
other promotional material, such products are regarded as foods and
subject only to the food provisions of the law. For example, the herb
ginseng is permitted to be sold as a tea."

...."Food and Drug Administration will prevent the marketing of herbs,
for medicinal purposes, if they have not been determined to be safe
and effective for their intended uses."
~~~~~~~~~~~~

this is a long read if anyone is up for it : http://web.health.gov/dietsupp/toc.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Default Tea, Health and the FDA

Nigel wrote...
> On Oct 26, 4:07 pm, SN > wrote:
>
>>imho they should 'censor' unfounded claims. just like they 'censor'
>>bad medicine.

>
>
> I think you missed the point - the FDA are allegedly and simple
> mindedly endeavouring to rid the market of any food of beverage that
> has any other action upon the body other than purely nutritional -
> this would be serious for tea which is undoubtedly (and like many
> other foods and beverages) physiologically altering (caffeine for one)
> and psychoactively altering (theanine for another) - read
> http://www.americanchronicle.com/art...rticleID=41230
> and see what the man has to say.


I like conspiracy theories, but do you seriously believe the FDA is
going to outlaw tea? What I think you are worried about is that the
FDA will step in and prevent tea vendors from claiming that their
product cures everything from cancer to arthritis to baldness. The
FDA doesn't even need to get involved, the FTC is in charge of
enforcing rules against making false or unproven claims for a product.


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