Welch’s Response to CSPI Letter

CONCORD, Mass., August 14, 2012 - At Welch’s, we take great pride in the quality of our products and go to great lengths to ensure that all our communications are truthful, well supported by science, and easy for consumers to understand.  In their statement earlier today, CSPI makes a number of misguided accusations regarding Welch’s messaging. 

When it comes to heart health, the substantial body of research conducted over a 15-year period supports the cardiovascular benefits of 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes, including many placebo controlled, human studies. 1-10   In addition, a recent comprehensive review of the science published in Nutrition Today concluded that consuming grapes and grape juice can support cardiovascular health without adversely affecting weight in healthy adults.11

Contrary to CSPI’s view on the role of 100% fruit juice, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that everyone – adults and children – get more fruit each day.  The guidelines also say that 100% juice is one way to add more fruit to the diet as a complement to whole fruit intake.

Furthermore, equating the nutritional value of 100% grape juice to soft drinks is not only misleading but potentially harmful to the public.  Calorie for calorie, 100% grape juice packs more nutrition than soft drinks and delivers essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant nutrients – to help promote health.

CSPI has raised a number of other specific accusations and since those specifics are subjects of potential litigation, we are unable to provide further comment.  Welch’s has always taken our responsibility to consumers seriously and will continue to take great care in our messages. 

References
  1. Park YK, Kim J-S and Kang M-H. Concord grape juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in Korean hypertensive men: double-blind, placebo controlled intervention trial. Biofactors. 2004. 22(1-4):145-147.
  2. Mark DA and Maki K. Concord grape juice reduces blood pressure in men with high systolic blood pressure. Presented at Experimental Biology 2003. San Diego, CA. April 11 - 15, 2003.
  3. Albers AR, Varghese S, Vitseva O, Vita JA and Freedman JE. The antiinflammatory effects of purple grape juice consumption in subjects with stable coronary artery disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004. 24(11):e179-180.
  4. Dohadwala MM, Hamburg NM, Holbrook M, Kim BH, Duess M-A, Levit A, Titas M, Chung WB, Vincent FB, Caiano TL, Frame AA, Kearney Jr. JF and Vita JA. Effect of Grape Juice on Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Pre-hypertension and Stage 1 Hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010. 92(5):1052-1059.
  5. Stein JH, Keevil JG, Wiebe DA, Aeschlimann S and Folts JD. Purple grape juice improves endothelial function and reduces the susceptibility of LDL cholesterol to oxidation in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation. 1999. 100(10):1050-1055.
  6. O'Byrne DJ, Devaraj S, Grundy SM and Jialal I. Comparison of the antioxidant effects of Concord grape juice flavonoids alpha-tocopherol on markers of oxidative stress in healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002. 76(6):1367-1374.
  7. Chou EJ, Keevil JG, Aeschlimann S, Wiebe DA, Folts JD and Stein JH. Effect of ingestion of purple grape juice on endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2001. 88(5):553-555.
  8. Keevil JG, Osman HE, Reed JD and Folts JD. Grape juice, but not orange juice or grapefruit juice, inhibits human platelet aggregation. J Nutr. 2000. 130(1):53-56.
  9. Vinson JA, Yang J, Proch J and Liang X. Grape juice, but not orange juice, has in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo antioxidant properties. J Med Food. 2000. 3(4):167-171.
  10. Freedman JE, Parker C, 3rd, Li L, Perlman JA, Frei B, Ivanov V, Deak LR, Iafrati MD and Folts JD. Select flavonoids and whole juice from purple grapes inhibit platelet function and enhance nitric oxide release. Circulation. 2001. 103(23):2792-2798.
  11. Vislocky LM and Fernandez ML. Grapes and Grape Products Their Role in Health. Nutrition Today. 2012. e-published May 31.