FDA declares walnuts a drug

Are walnuts a drug? The FDA thinks so.
Hey man, you know where I can score a quarter ounce of walnuts?

The Food and Drug Administration is telling California-based Diamond Foods that they need to remove wording from their walnut packages that advertises the health benefits of the tasty nut.

Unless, that is, they want to apply for an application that would consider their product a drug.

The FDA is cracking down hard on Diamond and says that the distributors can’t advertise the health benefits of the nut’s omega-3 fatty acids, even if they are verified by doctors. Three dozen published medical papers currently attest that eating walnuts improves vascular health and can combat heart attack risk. Even if doctors stand by those statements, the FDA does not and says that Diamond needs to nix the nut note that goes on their packages.

According to the FDA, Diamond is “misbranding” their nuts because they “are offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners.”

“Therefore,” continues the Administration, “adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes.”

The intended purpose, of course, is to satisfy never-ending cravings for tasty nuts. It just so happens that some docs say that walnuts aren’t so bad for the ol’ ticker, too.

According to PotatoPro.com (which provides services for the vast and competitive potato industry), Diamond is “the premier processor and marketer of culinary, inshell snack and ingredient nuts,” and provides products to more than three-quarters of the supermarkets in the US.

Even if they are king of the nut world, the FDA says they can’t be all advertising the magical healing powers of the walnut all willy-nilly. William Faloon from Life Extension Magazine tells the Daily Mail that this is just typical of the tyrannical “police-state” that is the Food and Drug Administration.

“This kind of bureaucratic tyranny sends a strong signal to the food industry not to innovate in a way that informs the public about foods that protect against disease,” says Faloon. “While consumers increasingly reach for healthier dietary choices, the federal government wants to deny food companies the ability to convey findings from scientific studies about their products.”

In the meantime, you can check out Diamond Foods’ official website to get your fix of all things nutty. Did you know that King Solomon spoke of the walnut in the Old Testament? And that walnut grove existed at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and in Mesopotamia?

Fascinating stuff, really. Just don’t think for a second you can boast about the benefits of vitamin B6, folacin and thiamin without getting a scolding from those FDA fellas. They are the real nuts right there.