Sunday, September 20, 2009

cherries are drugs!

The above statement seems startling. But if you think the same way the FDA does, cherries are drugs and therefore will need to be regulated by the government.

If you think this sounds like a joke. It's not.

The whole issue started with cherry makers sharing research that showed the healthful, antioxidant effects of cherries and cherry juice. This research, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, makes statements such as "supports the reputed anti-gout efficacy of cherries" and "compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammatory pathways." Another study, also by the UDSA stated, "[Results] suggest a selective modulatory effect of sweet cherries on CRP (C-Reactive Protein), NO (Nitrous Oxide), and RANTES (T-Cell indicators). Such anti-inflammatory effects may be beneficial for the management and prevention of inflammatory diseases." There is more research indicating other health benefits of cherries and cherry juice.

Strangely when cherry growers began to promote this information in marketing their product it caught the attention of the FDA. Mind you this is the same agency that is
failing at food safety. Responsible for under-inspecting food production facilities and imported food, unreliable in Pharmacolocial oversight, the FDA has nonetheless opted to go after whole food. While I'm not sure how the government would intend to regulate the sale of cherries if it were somehow indeed cast into the category of a drug, it seems bizarre and completely the wrong direction. The FDA should be keeping BPA out of our plastics, melamine out of our food supply, inspecting plant safety according to their mandate, and making sure that the drug manufacturers are responsible for their products (so that drugs are not released early before all symptoms are known, such as Vioxx or Accutane).

As part of the public record you can see that this letter was sent to these companies telling them that they are no longer allowed to share government research showing the health benefits of consuming a natural, fresh fruit. Shouldn't we be encouraging people to eat more fresh foods? Another thought that occurs to me is that if the FDA already can't meet it's mandate for public safety what the heck is it doing attempting to regulate a whole food?

My suggestion? Eat cherries, they're a tasty, whole food that is good for you. Drink cherry juice, it's also tasty and good for you.

Be well.

photo courtesy of clayoquot :$=pmtitlesearch4

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your articles in the Examiner.

You called out the FDA and I love it. The FDA has to do a better job of helping the average America stay healthy without drugs and cherries are a great excellent.

The cherry growers don't pay big money to Washington. They are family farms trying to get by, just like the rest of use.

Mira you should help to promote the health benefits of cherries and Michigan business more. I buy my cherry pills and cherry juice from Traverse Bay Farms. They even have a free download health book on how cherries help with gout. You should contact them and interview them.