How much do you know about your breakfast cereals? I know not much as I'm not a big fan of mixing anything with Cold Milk (gives me the runs). Recently, a particular brand of cereal has caught my attention. Cheerios, little "O"'s made from oats marketed by General Mills was on the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration)'s chopping board recently.
For more information about this product, visit this Wikipedia link.
What happened? The Company's latest marketing slogan for Cheerios caught the eye of FDA "you can lower your cholesterol by 4 per cent in six weeks” (by eating Cheerios regularly). Due to this claim, the FDA has classified Cheerios as a drug and sent a warning letter to the Company.
FDA's side of the story: If the Company is marketing a food as something that can resolve a medical issue, it is, by definition, selling a Drug. Therefore, General Mills cannot market the Cereal without a drug application. The warning letter from FDA cited: “It is not generally recognized as safe and effective for use in preventing or treating hypercholesterolemia or coronary heart disease."
General Mills' side of the story: The Company insisted that its product has been clinically proven to reduce Cholesterol. Moreover, the previous claim that: “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers." has been approved by FDA in 1999.
This sparked the latest controversy on the net and the debates are separated into two main camps: FDA vs General Mills. As a Food Blogger, I do not wish to take sides in this case. You can read more about it in this news article and you decide on who's right.
You can read about a related article on Food Navigator through this link.
For those are a little more curious like me and wish to know how your breakfast cereal is made, you can read it here.