Since When Is a Cherry a Drug?
By Jon Herring
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” wrote, “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This is wise advice, indeed. Just don’t try to market food as medicine. The FDA might not approve. Recently, I read that more than 20 companies that produce and market products made from tart cherries and cherry juice concentrate were issued warning letters from the government agency.
Tart cherries contain numerous antioxidants and flavonoids that are known to promote health and have been shown to improve certain conditions, including arthritis pain. But according to the FDA, advertising the healing properties of tart cherries causes them to be considered a “drug.” And any company that sells a “drug” must have an approved “New Drug Application” on file, proving that its drug is safe and effective.
Do you really think this is about “proving” that cherries are safe? Of course not. This is Big Brother running interference for Big Pharma. It is especially telling that the FDA singled out several offending claims where customers of these companies “stopped taking drugs for arthritis pain” after consuming tart cherries.
Hippocrates was right. Food is medicine. But today’s medical profession barely works with diet, instead promoting the prescription of profitable chemicals to repair the damage done from decades of poor lifestyle choices. And the pharmaceutically compliant FDA ensures that foods (real medicine) cannot be advertised in any way that might compete with these profitable chemicals.
But you know better, dear reader. It takes research to discover what is good for you and what could prove harmful, and it takes vigilance to avoid deceptive marketing (whether by food and supplement manufacturers or the drug companies). When in doubt, follow the advice of Hippocrates. Eat whole, natural foods and generally avoid chemical “solutions” for health issues.