Acai – Food or Drug?

So here’s the dilemma: If it’s produce, then the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to call it a food. If you use it to heal you in some way, then the FDA wants to call it a drug… There is a very fine line in most peoples’ minds, but any line left between the two the Acai berry has just totally erased.

If one plant serves two different needs, such as a root sold as produce that can be used as a healing agent, (Ginseng and Green tea leaves also comes to mind) then we have to be really careful. Naturally we’d want it to be regulated so we don’t accidentally overdose on it… Although I have no idea if a ginseng or green tea overdose would be harmful or not.

However, the FDA, who has already approved Mona Vie’s bottling plants in Utah, is making it incredibly difficult for their distributors to sell Mona Vie & other Acai berry juices for their healing properties.

I have seen at least two such reports on the FDA website where they have pretty much persecuted distributors of Acai juice blends just because those distributors claimed that their product was healthy.

According to the FDA’s rules, if you sell something as a food, you cannot claim it has the power to heal anything. You are not even allowed to infer that consuming it can bring you better overall health. It’s either a just food in their eyes, or a drug, which must be monitored and well-tested.

The Acai berry fits right in the no-man’s land for the FDA, and it is even more difficult for them that Acai doesn’t grow in the USA. The fruit itself has to enter the country as produce of another country, which undergoes testing for USDA and FDA guidelines before it leaves its’ country of origin.

At bottling plants like Mona Vie, the FDA approval process is nothing more that a way of ensuring that everyone is wearing their gloves while handling food… It has nothing to do with drug protection or assurance at all.

So if they won’t let Acai juice distributors claim that their product has any healing abilities but that’s clearly the reason that everyone is buying it for, then I for one say that something is wrong with the system.

I’m not radical enough to suggest that we do away with the FDA or anything so risky, but perhaps a third category should be introduced. While the FDA makes it hard for distributors to sell great products like Acai, in the meantime it is saving lives by ensuring people don’t overdose on seemingly-harmless drugs, and ensuring the quality of those drugs at the same time.

So how about a new category for the FDA, of ‘Healing Foods.’-Specifically, healing foods that you cannot overdose on.

Dr. Schuass has proven that you cannot overdose on Acai. The human body can only use about 6,000 TE of Antioxidant per gram at a time, and if you ingest more than that, the overage is excreted by your liver, much like drinking too much water would… Our bloodstreams are protected from it.

So if people are buying some produce item to heal themselves with, there is no need to lie about its’ properties as long as it can’t be taken to overdose. Why should it have to go through the intense scrutiny of FDA drug approval? Why not just say it’s got natural healing agents, can be good for your health, and stop all of this needless misdirection?

Of course the producers should still be responsible for reporting the truthful contents (such as the antioxidant content of their product) but to take away their ability to even say it’s good for people is lying. In fact, it should be against the law because it hurts uncountable people who would otherwise have had a healing agent in their bodies that the FDA is discriminating against right now.

I have no doubt that lives are being lost over nutritional issues like this. Our Food and Drug administration is such a mixed blessing that every little thing they do saves one life while costing another. It is clear that too much power rests in their hands, but I think that they have done a pretty good job so far of balancing it. Any time an unusually strong variable like Acai comes along and shakes things up, however, there are bound to be some problems.