P&G rebuts olestra rap

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The push for Procter & Gamble Co.'s zero-calorie fat replacement, olestra, resulted in separate Washington press conferences on Wednesday held by P&G and consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. CSPI asked the FDA to deny P&G's request for approval due to charges of consumer gastrointestinal problems, loss of essential vitamins and other complications. The group vowed to create a campaign warning consumers if the FDA approves olestra, which will be marketed as Olean.

P&G responded with a study that showed no GI problems and said the CSPI study took results out of context and showed only an extreme example.

P&G is seeking to license the U.S. savory snack rights to Frito-Lay, though a Frito spokeswoman said the company "is still on the sidelines waiting to see what happens" with the FDA. P&G expects FDA approval after a mid-November Food Advisory Committee meeting.

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