Raisio, Helsinki, ratified a joint venture plan with Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Products Co., Fort Washington, Pa., to launch Raisio's cholesterol-reducing health margarine Benecol, ahead of approval of the product by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Raisio intends to get around the FDA approval requirement by marketing Benecol as a dietary supplement. The company is anxious to get Benecol onto U.S. shelves by yearend, ahead of Unilever, which also is planning to launch a cholesterol-reducing margarine. McNeil last year purchased global rights to Raisio's process of turning pine pulp byproduct into the compounds used for Benecol.
Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.