FDA Warns Cheerios to Ease Off Health Claims

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 5:05 PM CDT
Cheerios cereal in the supermarket aisle.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The FDA has a message for Cheerios: You're a cereal, not a wonder drug. The agency says General Mills must tone down its health claims or risk having its product yanked off shelves, the New York Daily News reports. The cereal box makes all sorts of claims about lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease, and the FDA says only agency-approved drugs can boast of such things.

“Your claim does not convey that all these factors together help to reduce the risk of heart disease and does not enable the public to understand the significance of the claim,” an FDA letter said, referring to other components of a healthy diet. “The science is not in question,” a General Mills spokesman said. "The FDA is interested in how the Cheerios cholesterol-lowering information is presented on the Cheerios package and Web site.” The company has 15 days to explain how it will change its marketing.