Cheerios® Have Been Served

Articles
May 13, 2009

Cheerios® Have Been Served

Recently assaulted by rotting tomatoes, and pelted with peanuts and pistachios, the FDA felt it was finally time to fight back, assert some power, and shift the blame to someone else… the Cheerio. Cheerios, known for their spectacular nutritional profile and general goodness appreciated by all palates, has been promoting their heart healthy, whole grain oat cereal for years. In fact, for the past 12 years, General Mills has, with FDA approval, claimed the benefits of increasing fiber in the diet, and decreasing saturated fat and dietary cholesterol on heart health. Citing a clinical study, Cheerio boxes, for the past two years, have proudly advertised the cholesterol lowering effects of Cheerios- or in reality, their whole grain component. This is where the FDA decided to draw the line, stating that, “these claims indicate that Cheerios is intended for use in lowering cholesterol, and therefore in preventing, mitigating, and treating the disease hypercholesterolemia…coronary heart disease…[and] Because of these intended uses, the product is a drug…”¹ GET A GRIP. Do any American’s really believe by any means that Cheerios are drugs? The biggest problem with the FDA’s attack on Cheerios is the consumer confusion that is sure to follow. Already bombarded from every angle with nutrition advice and important foods to consume and avoid, Americans are confused about what is actually good for their health. General Mills should not be blamed for their spectacular efforts to encourage and empower the public to take hold of their health. In fact they should be commended. Cheerios whole grains provide 14 vitamins and minerals, are low in fat, have 1g of sugar, and are a good source of calcium and fiber. If all Americans were to consume Cheerios, or a product of similar nutritional value, on a daily basis, the country would be in a much better state regarding health. ¹ http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/s7188c.pdf

Recently assaulted by rotting tomatoes, and pelted with peanuts and pistachios, the FDA felt it was finally time to fight back, assert some power, and shift the blame to someone else… the Cheerio.  Cheerios, known for their spectacular nutritional profile and general goodness appreciated by all palates, has been promoting their heart healthy, whole grain oat cereal for years.  In fact, for the past 12 years, General Mills has, with FDA approval, claimed the benefits of increasing fiber in the diet, and decreasing saturated fat and dietary cholesterol on heart health.

Citing a clinical study, Cheerio boxes, for the past two years, have proudly advertised the cholesterol lowering effects of Cheerios- or in reality, their whole grain component.  This is where the FDA decided to draw the line, stating that, “these claims indicate that Cheerios is intended for use in lowering cholesterol, and therefore in preventing, mitigating, and treating the disease hypercholesterolemia…coronary heart disease…[and] Because of these intended uses, the product is a drug…”¹  GET A GRIP.  Do any American’s really believe by any means that Cheerios are drugs?

The biggest problem with the FDA’s attack on Cheerios is the consumer confusion that is sure to follow.  Already bombarded from every angle with nutrition advice and important foods to consume and avoid, Americans are confused about what is actually good for their health.  General Mills should not be blamed for their spectacular efforts to encourage and empower the public to take hold of their health.  In fact they should be commended.  Cheerios whole grains provide 14 vitamins and minerals, are low in fat, have 1g of sugar, and are a good source of calcium and fiber.  If all Americans were to consume Cheerios, or a product of similar nutritional value, on a daily basis, the country would be in a much better state regarding health.

¹ http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/s7188c.pdf