New Scrutiny For Omega-3 Eggs

Eggs: Omega 3 eggs
CBS/The Early Show
Eggs containing a cholesterol-fighter are coming under new scrutiny. If you find yourself in the egg aisle tempted by those more expensive eggs, the ones that say omega-3 on the label, you're not alone.

As CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras reports, they seem to claim they're better than the ordinary egg. But are they worth the extra cost?

Like many health conscious Americans, Judith Nicholas buys eggs enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids. "I think they're healthier for you and help reduce cholesterol. That's what my physician recommended," Nicholas explains.

Research shows that omega-3s found only in fish and some plants are "good" fatty acids, and help prevent heart disease. But the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says consumers are being hoodwinked when it comes to omega-3 eggs

"These egg producers, egged on by their trade association, is brazenly putting omega-3 claims in big print on the front of the labels, knowing that that is a buzzword that will attract people," says Michael Jacobson of the CSPI.

On Thursday the organization called on the FDA to enforce its own regulations and stop the egg industry from using what it calls misleading labels and advertising.

"It's like using filtered cigarettes to prevent cancer. It ain't gonna happen. These eggs are loaded with cholesterol, which promotes heart disease," Jacobson claims.

There are several brands of Omega-3 eggs. In one supermarket for example, they take up half the egg display. And they cost a lot more than regular eggs. One dozen large size is $1.89; the omega-3 eggs sold for $2.79. In some instances, they cost twice as much.

"It's not just economic fraud, which it is, but it is a serious health problem," Jacobson argues.

The FDA is aware of the complaint by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and says it is looking into it. Meantime, the center says when it comes to eggs and good health, just don't eat the yokes.

And if you want to add omega-3 to your diet, the CSPI recommends getting it from other sources, such as fish and fish oil.