Cereal Rights

14 May 2009

FDA cautions Cheerios about mislabeling practices

Today on its website the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a warning letter to General Mills (GM) stating that Internet advertising and the packaging of the breakfast cereal Cheerios is misleading.

The letter tells GM that “Your Cheerios ® product is misbranded […] because it bears unauthorized health claims in its labeling”.

According to the FDA, Cheerios claim to “lower your cholesterol by 4% over 6 weeks” cannot be backed up by scientific studies and therefore is misleading consumers.

The FDA goes further, saying that such health claims are reserved for drugs and that products approved as drugs cannot use them.

The letter has triggered criticism against both the FDA and the Obama Administration, with conservative groups seeing it as yet another authoritarian step to restrict company rights.

What all critics fail to do is address the FDA’s argument. The ongoing controversy cannot take away the fact that this is the first time in nine years that the agency has taken action against a “mainstream food product”.

Maybe now, under the Obama Adminstration, the FDA is more willing to challenge large corporations in an effort to protect American consumers.


Jonathan Salibra
[email protected]

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