Wednesday, May 13, 2009

FDA: Cheerios being marketed as a drug

It would appear that General Mills, the manufacturers of Cheerios among other things, are in a bit of hot water at the moment with the FDA.

The FDA which regulates the production and promotion of food and drugs in the US has taken particular exception to the strong health related claims made by the manufacturers regarding the health benefits of including the cereal in your diet.

"You can lower your cholesterol by 4 per cent in six weeks"

In a letter sent to Ken Powell, CEO of Gen Mills, the FDA claim that "Based on claims made on your product's label, we have determined that your Cheerios® Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease"

It would seem that the marketing team behind the cereal chose to essentially ignore the "Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act" and have landed themselves in some trouble.
I'm sure that General Mills will find a creative way to rephrase the meesage they are trying to send out regarding the health effects of consuming their cereal, but part of me hope that that don't because "Failure to promptly correct the violations specified above may result in enforcement action without further notice. Enforcement action may include seizure of violative products and/or injunction against the manufacturers and distributors of violative products"... Part of me likes the image of FDA agents storming in through the front doors of a Wallmart and energetically removing all offending "violative products" off the shelves in a very over the top manner.

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