Would you eat prunes if it turned out they weren't laxatives?
In January, the European Food Safety Authority denied a long-standing claim that consuming prune juice maintained "normal bowel function."
"A cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of prune juice and maintenance of normal bowel function," the EFSA reported in its journal.
On Tuesday, Sir Graham Watson, a British Member of the European Parliament, disputed that conclusion, and challenged the head of the EFSA to a prune-eating contest.
"I have asked the Commission if it is satisfied with the criteria and the methodology used for testing such claims because I know that prunes contain two substances sorbitol and dihydrophenylisatin, which have laxative effects," Watson said later. "But most of our constituents do not require a scientific test.
"I have also invited the Commissioner responsible for health and consumer policy, John Dalli, to a prune eating contest to see for himself!"
Dalli turned down Watson's challenge, the Guardian reported Wednesday.
"I don't think we need to go into competition over this," he reportedly said, moving quickly along. "Thank you."
More shocking for many than the idea of high-level global politicians challenging each other to food-eating competitions is the idea that prune juice isn't actually a laxative.
Prunes themselves have a variety of nutritional benefits, according to the Australian Prune Industry Association. They're high in fibre, low in cholesterol and fat, high in anti-oxidants, and a good source of Vitamins A and C.
But prune juice provides fibre only if it contains prune pulp or puree, the EFSA said.
And it's this fact that leads us to ask whether anyone will bother drinking prune juice if it's not as beneficial for bowel function as previously thought.
How does this news affect your thoughts on prunes, or prune juice? Are there foods you would stop consuming if you found out they weren't good for you? Let us know in the comment field below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' results.)
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