Cheerios as “drug”

The Food and Drug Administration wants to protect you, whether you’d like it to or not. Don Surber: “Next they will tell me that Lucky Charms are not magically delicious, but rather manufactured like any other cereal.”

15 Comments

  • Every time I think the idiots in government couldn’t sink any lower, someone proves me wrong.

  • Rob: I agree. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s actually a bottom at which sinking must stop.

  • Second? Law of Thermodynamics. In a closed system, all processes proceed to Entropy. In layman’s terms, things can only get worse.

    In short, if we don’t actively input energy into the sytem, we can expect only continued deterioration of our interests. If you are of the “tissue box” variety, you might wish to review the moral warning, “In order for evil to win, all that good need do is nothing”, or words to that effect.

    A similar parable, “Bad facts make bad law” makes the rounds in legal circles with some frequency. I have seen little, in my personal experience, to suggest that this is untrue. Terry Goodkind sumarized this in the warning, “Passion rules Reason”, a philosophy he seemingly atributes to Ayn Rand. At the poker table, at least, I find this to be a profitable bet over time.

  • What I don’t get about this, how long has Cheerios made the claim without issue?

  • I would guess ever since a (somewhat dubious) study was published a few years ago that eating oats lowered the risk of a heart attack.

  • someone compared this to reagan’s “ketchup is a vegetable” regulation. But underneath it is an important difference. Reagan’s regulation was designed to reduce federal oversight of the school lunch program. Hostile to the goal overall of nitpicking what your school fed you for lunch, he allowed for extremely loose standards that might arguably be considered ridiculously loose.

    By comparison, this dubious behavior is designed to bring cheerios under greater regulation.

    And that is not the only thing. There is a letter put by the FTC out on February 4th about the red flag rule that says that if a business has any delay between providing work and being paid, that it becomes a creditor. But if you take it that literally, then by the same logic a mopper working in a supermarket is equally a creditor, and subject to numerous FTC regs. Also ridiculous.

    I have joked before that you guys need a site called “overregulated.” more and more i think i was unintentionally right.

  • I don’t think there’s any desire of the Government to regulate Cheerios as a drug. I think they just want what the FDA sees as false or overreaching claims to be removed or modified.

  • To A.W., as a long time Pittsburgher, I clearly remember Senator Heinz commenting about ketchup. He said something to the effect that based on his family business, he did not believe that ketchup was a vegetable, instead it was a condiment. He spoke with some authority on this topic.

    wrt Cheerios, I was always surprised about how no one mentioned that the cereal was eaten instead of fatty breakfast meats or butter laden dough (pancakes, waffles). Substituting low-fat, stomach filling starch for high fat “breakfast” items had to lower cholesterol if only from the removal of the bad alternatives.

  • Wow, I am surprised by the negative reaction here.

    Products that claim to treat health conditions are harshly regulated. That is a good thing! Food products that are claimed to have health benefit sell better, and food companies regularly arm-wrestle with FDA over what exactly they are or aren’t allowed to claim without evidence.

    If you want to say that Coors Light is the Coldest Tasting Beer In The World, knock yourself out. But if you are going to claim that your product treats a health condition, you better prove it.

  • Cherios are being attacked over their specific health claims. If you claim a therapeutic benefit, you are claiming that you are selling drugs.

    I wish the FDA would go after all those penis and breast enlargement spammers.

  • If anything, dietary supplements and food health claims are under regulated thanks to DSHEA. I worked in R&D for a couple herbal supplement and health food companies a few years back. The industry is basically the wild west. Literally, anything goes.

  • I agree with Igor. Someone said bad facts make bad law. Any regulation of Cherrios just sounds silly. But should they be able to make claims that are not clearly supported?

    I don’t think they should be regulated like drugs. But there should be some way of making sure they cannot make claims that lack foundation, right?

  • Wouldn’t false statements about health benefits be covered by the Federal Trade Commission?
    Bob

  • Wouldn’t false or dubious statements about health benefits be covered by the Federal Trade Commission?
    Bob

  • “Wouldn’t false statements about health benefits be covered by the Federal Trade Commission?”

    If they were completely false, perhaps. The issue with health claims particularly when they are targeting a specific condition or disease and when they claim to have a therapeutic effect is that they have to be substantiated. It’s one thing to say “contains anti- oxidants” or “heart healthy” it’s another to claim “lowers cholesterol” or “prevents cancer”. The FDA is responsible for health claims because they have the expertise required for evaluating the data (at least in theory) where as the FTC does not.