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Misc. News : L.etter to E.ditor Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00


FDA approves some health claims for green tea
By Sin Hang Lee, M.D.
Aug 30, 2006, 22:58

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Editor's note: Thank Dr. Lee for his feedback. Yes, anticancer properties of green tea have been demonstrated in animals studies and cell cultures. We encourage readers to drink tea, particularly green tea and semi-fermented tea such as Oolong tea.

Date August 28, 2006

Dear Mr. Ben Wasserman:

Your review article "Drinking tea good for your health" dated August 25 in H.eart & B.lood of "foodconsumer.org" has led the readers to believe that the FDA has rejected the green tea anticancer petition submitted by Fleminger, Inc. This is a half-truth reporting. I, as the president of the company and the petitioner of the green tea anticancer health claims, hereby ask you to tell the readers the whole truth.

Cancer is too serious of a subject to be treated so lightly. Any future reduction of cancer deaths will be accomplished by managing our lifestyle and diet pattern rather than by introduction of new modalities of cancer treatment. Green tea happens to be one of the components in our diet whose anticancer effects have been supported by solid scientific evidence. The consumers are entitled to the whole truth.

If you read the entire FDA letter of enforcement discretion dated June 30, 2005 including its cited scientific references, you will understand that the FDA in fact has granted the tea industry two qualified anticancer health claims, as further documented in Federal Register Vol. 71, pages 29340-29342 in an FDA report submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published on May 22, 2006. The fully disclosed accurate language of the granted health claims should read as follows (with my clarifying notes added in parentheses):

1. "Two studies (which were conducted among Japanese living in the northern rural Miyagi prefecture where no tea plantations are in existence) do not show that drinking green tea reduces the risk of breast cancer in women, but one weaker, more limited study (which was conducted among green tea drinking Asian women living in Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.) suggests that drinking green tea may reduce this risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk of breast cancer (if a green tea similar to those marketed in northern rural Japan is consumed)."

2. "One weak and limited study (which was conducted among Japanese living in the northernmost island of Hokkaido where no tea trees can survive) does not show that drinking green tea reduces the risk of prostate cancer, but another weak and limited study (which was conducted among the local residents of Hangzhou, the traditional green tea plantation and production capital of China) suggests that drinking green tea may reduce this risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk of prostate cancer (if a green tea similar to those marketed in Hokkaido of Japan is consumed)."

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely yours,


Sin Hang Lee, M.D.
President, Fleminger, Inc.
www.teaforhealth.com




© 2004-2005 by foodconsumer.org unless otherwise specified

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