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FDA Rejects Health Claim for Green Tea

Rating

3 Star

FDA Rejects Health Claim for Green Tea

Our Review Summary

This article reported on the the FDA’s rejection of a petition to allow sellers of green tea to legally claim that it reduces the risk of heart disease. Although green tea has become more popular during the last decade, there is insufficient evidence to support the contention that green tea is beneficial in terms of heart disease risk. The article reported this in an unsensational fashion and also educated the reader about health claims.

While reporting on the lack of evidence to support the contention that green tea provides cardiovascular benefit, this article missed the opportunity to mention evidence-based ways to reduce cardiovascular risk. It also did not inform the reader on potential harms of green tea consumption for some people (especially those with heart problems for whom caffeine consumption may be limited).

The story said that spokespersons for the world’s largest green tea company and for the consulting group that filed the petition with the FDA did not respond to messages left for them. But there were no comments from individuals conducting research investigating whether green tea affects heart disease risk.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The article did not contain any reference to the cost of green tea.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The article reported that the FDA found no evidence of heart disease benefit associated with consumption of green tea.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

This article reports that consumption of green tea is not an effective means for reducing risk of heart disease. However, it failed to mention potential harms of consuming green tea. It can be harmful for people with heart problems for whom consumption of caffeine is restricted.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Satisfactory

The article mentioned that the FDA reportedly reviewed 105 articles and other publications in order to assess the validity for making a health claim for green tea with respect to heart disease. The article also mentioned the FDA’s previous rejection of the health claim that green tea reduces cancer risk.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

This article reported on the FDA’s rejection of the petition to allow the health claim that green tea affected the risk of heart disease.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

The story said that spokespersons for the world’s largest green tea company and for the consulting group that filed the petition with the FDA did not respond to messages left for them. But there were no comments from individuals conducting research investigating whether green tea affects heart disease risk.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

There was no mention of lifestyle or dietary approaches or drugs for decreasing heart disease risk.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The article explained that green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves and mentioned that its popularity had grown over the last decade.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

Consumption of green tea was not touted as being new or novel. The history of green tea consumption is centuries old.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Not Applicable

We can’t be sure if the story relied solely or largely on a news release.

Total Score: 5 of 9 Satisfactory

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