The law is sometimes funnier than fiction. Recently, I blogged that the FDA needs to change its current regulations on over the counter diet pills and products due to Hydroxycut causing liver damage. The FDA should include regulation of over the counter diet pills before they reach store shelves and harm consumers. Then I read the FDA is going after our breakfast cereals for false and deceptive advertising and labeling one as a drug. Is Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats really going to harm or kill anyone?
Cheerios has been claiming on TV commercials that it can lower your cholestral by 4% in six weeks. Well now the FDA has informed General Mills, maker of Cheerios, that these claims makes it a drug under federal law. Who but the FDA would classify Cheerios as a drug based on these claims? Yet, Cheerios is not the only cereal the FDA has investigated recently. Frosted Mini-Wheats previously claimed it could improve kids attentiveness by nearly 20%. I guess all the sugar in it could do that. Kellog settled its dispute over Frosted Mini Wheats with the FDA.
Are our priorities in order in investigating Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats? If Cheerios and other breakfast cereals are misinforming consumers, then they should withdraw any misbranded claims. Yet shouldn’t the federal government close the huge gap in its regulation of diet pills and products which harm and kill?
Most over the counter diet pills are not required to get pre-approval by the FDA before hitting the store shelves. They are not governed as drugs which require FDA approval. The FDA takes a wait and see approach before taking any regulatory action. It should be taking a better safe than sorry approach and regulate beforehand.
I have never heard of anyone dying from eating Cheerios or Frosted Mini-Wheats.