US Objects to General Mills’ Cheerios Health Claims

In Health and Safety, Research by Paul Martin3 Comments

CheeriosWho else saw this one coming?  I certainly didn’t!  Apparently General Mills has made claims about the benefits of Cheerios to the heart on their cereal boxes and website.  The United States Food and Drug Administration considers language about the cholesterol-lowering benefits on boxes of Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal to be unapproved drug claims.

Does this make the Cheerios into a drug, under the FDA’s claim?

According to the report, the language and presentation did not qualify under the government’s approved claims linking fiber from whole grain oats with a reduced risk of heart disease.  The FDA does not allow companies to claim a specific degree of risk reduction.  The Cheerios box claimed that consumers could “lower your cholesterol 4 percent in 6 weeks.”

General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe defends the statement, as the message has been featured on the box for more than two years, and the science supporting the claims “is not in question.  The clinical study supporting Cheerios’ cholesterol-lowering benefit is very strong.”

According to Forsythe, the FDA is “interested in how the Cheerios cholesterol-lowering information is presented on the Cheerios package and website. We look forward to discussing this with FDA and to reaching a resolution.”

What do you think?

-via Medscape

Paul Martin

Paul Martin

I am the Director of Multimedia at ProTrainings, as well as the primary blogger here. I take care of the video editing, graphic design and corporate branding that you see on every video and every page on this site, as well as at ProCPR®, ProFirstAid®, ProBloodborne, StudentCPR, etc. My work is literally everywhere that ProTrainings goes. I also handle our Twitter accounts, so be sure to follow us there, if you use twitter! You can be sure that I’m not just an average joe writing this blog, but one of the founders of the company.

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  1. Vickie

    Hmm, how to be nice when talking about the FDA. Let me put it this way. If it took the FDA, the entity that is supposed to protect the American people from harmful food and drugs, if it took them two years to decide that the LANGUAGE presents a problem and not the Cherrios, then FIRE them all. And that is the nicest F word I can use here. What a bunch of idiots! The ad says Cherrios HELP reduce cholesterol. Mr. Forsythe, please ask the FDA which of the pharmaceutical companies that are funding the FDA is threatened by cereal.

    1. Denice

      good morning &hello to you i love cheerios & so does my kids can you tell me is going on

  2. Mike Sh

    Hmmm, as a lifelong Cheerios fan, I did notice when the boxes started advertising the heath benefits related to cholesterol on the boxes and heart health in the commercials.

    As a consumer, I consider them healthy because they are not coated in sugar.

    As a skeptic, I would like there to be a process for companies to get their claims approved by the FDA, I don’t have a problem with the FDA’s gripe.

    As a cynic, I’m willing to bet it is a very long and wasteful process to get a claim approved by the FDA.

    I thought that if you wanted to put claims on packaging you had to notify the consumer if the claims are not approved by the FDA

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