Peter: Oh my God, Brian, there is a message in my alphabets…it says Oooo!! Brian: Peter those are Cheerios. You must have heard this quote from “Family Guy” that speaks about popularity of Cheerios.
Recently, Cheerios has been in news, not because due to introduction of a new flavor but because of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warning Letter. Cheerios is the first oat based ready to eat breakfast made by General Mills. It is known to be nutritious breakfast or snack for kids, teens and adults. Cheerios is promoted to have ingredients to reduce bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol. If you have one of that yellowish colored Cheerios box on the top of your refrigerator, you must have read “Did you know that in just 6 weeks Cheerios can reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4 percent? Two, one-and-a-half-cup servings of Cheerios every day is clinically proven to lower cholesterol”.
FDA sent a warning letter to...
General Mills that language on the Cheerios box suggests the cereal is designed to prevent or treat heart disease like hypercholesterolemia.
W. Charles Becoat, FDA’s Minneapolis District Director said only FDA-approved drugs are allowed to make such claims. Since Cheerios was not FDA approved under a new drug application, “it may not be legally marketed with the above claims.” Becoat also pointed out that FDA regulations forbid claims of any specific degree of risk reduction associated with high-fiber products or diets.
In a quick response of the FDA’s letter, General Mills issued the statement saying that the complaint doesn’t question whether the cereal actually lowers cholesterol levels and said the dispute is over language, not science.
General Mills also said the health claims on Cheerios have been approved for 12 years. “We look forward to discussing this with FDA and to reaching a resolution.”