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Inordinate Delay in Designating Eggs as “Healthy”


Following a petition to the Food and Drug Administration in April 2023, the Agency issued a proposed rule that would designate eggs as “healthy”.  This action was consistent with the recognition of the negligible health effects of a reasonable dietary intake of cholesterol by otherwise healthy consumers. Consideration of the designation “healthy” was initiated by the FDA in 2016, eventually resulting in a statement that the Agency would adjust guidelines.  Following the publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, the Agency received and reviewed responses in anticipation of a Final Rule projected for April 2024.


If, as expected, the FDA designates eggs as “healthy,” cartons would be labeled accordingly, finally dispelling the myth concerning the adverse effect of the cholesterol content of eggs on vascular integrity.


The FDA has indicated that the program of redefining the “healthy” definition is part of an overall initiative to provide consumers with realistic label information that contributes to “intelligent and appropriate food choices”.


The potential outcome of the reorganization of the food-related activities of the FDA will not have any effect on the current petition that has languished for years.  FDA functions at the pace of a melting glacier to the detriment of both the food industry and consumers. 


How about those responsible taking home the relevant literature or information to be reviewed over a weekend with a short meeting on a Monday to make a decision?  Why does the culture of government agencies and especially the FDA involve delays, inability to evaluate a petition or application and to issue a timely response?  Is it that no government apparachik has ever been fired or disciplined for saying no or nyet. Accordingly, officials will not risk their reputations and careers by being other than conformist, and rejecting innovative and progressive approaches, or simply making a decision and then moving on to the next challenge.