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Old 05-18-2009, 08:52 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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You go Cheerios!

Personally I think this issue truly shows that the FDA is getting a big bit for its own pants. I do not mind them fighting for the health and safety of the American people, but why are they getting involved in a silly argument regarding claims on a Cheerio's box which is steering people towards a more healthy option.

As a farmer I have always said, "You can pay the farmer or you can pay the doctor, but you are going to pay." I strongly feel that having people eat cheerios to lower cholesterol is a very good thing and is the direction this country needs to head. It will certainly help farmers and those in rural areas of the USA. I guess the question arises...who would really complain about a cereal box stating an obvious fact...whole grains help lower cholesterol? It also begs the question...why would the FDA care that a cereal box says the obvious?

Myself its time to tell the FDA to shut up and stop hurting this society by trying to "help" us so much. Good golly can't the FDA spend its time and budget fighting against unsafe practices they see instead of fighting against the advertising of healthy food choices?

We have too many people standing at the pharmacy counter now...sending them to the cereal isle for whole grains is not a bad thing.

Home - Cheerios
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,543 posts, read 15,690,455 times
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If General Mills can back up the claim with scientific studies (rigorous scientific studies run by institutions not in their employ or grant recipients) then they can put it on the label. Otherwise it has no business being there.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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I agree, PNW
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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I was under the assumption that there already HAD been scientific studies before they were allowed to put it there in the first place. (I believe they told us that in my college nutrition class. I could be wrong.)
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,543 posts, read 15,690,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheriwx View Post
I was under the assumption that there already HAD been scientific studies before they were allowed to put it there in the first place. (I believe they told us that in my college nutrition class. I could be wrong.)
My memory is that the studies were about the benefits of whole oats as in oatmeal (cold rolled or steel cut and not processed).

Cheerios are made out of ground oat dust formed into a paste.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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False claims to promote sales is nothing new or is a crackdown on such claims.Just as with healthcare tightening thier wil be crackdown on claims by vitamin compnies and other off the shelf medicines also that consume many of americas healthcare dollars.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:02 PM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
If General Mills can back up the claim with scientific studies (rigorous scientific studies run by institutions not in their employ or grant recipients) then they can put it on the label. Otherwise it has no business being there.
That is my point...the tests have been done and the FDA is not disputing what it claims, it is saying that General Mills cannot put those claims on a cereal box as they are not a "medicine".

How stupid is that? We are what we eat.

If cigarettes must put what harm the product does and is scientifically proven on the box, then why can't General Mills put what is proven to be scientifically healthy on the box?
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,543 posts, read 15,690,455 times
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What the FDA said, in part:

General Mills, Inc., Warning Letter (http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/s7188c.htm - broken link)


Quote:
FDA has issued a regulation authorizing a health claim associating soluble fiber from whole grain oats with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (21 CFR 101.81). Like FDA's other regulations authorizing health Claims about a food substance and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, this regulation provides for the claim to include an optional statement, as part of the health claim, that the substance reduces the risk of coronary heart disease through the intermediate link of lowering blood total and LDL cholesterol. See 21 CFR 101.81(d)(2),-(3). Although the lower left corner of the Cheerios® front label contains a soluble fiber/coronary heart disease health claim authorized under 21 CFR 101.81, the two claims about lowering cholesterol are not made as part of that claim but rather are presented as separate, stand-alone claims through their location on the package and other label design features. The cholesterol claim that mentions the clinical study is on the back of the Cheerios® box, completely separate from the health claim on the front label. Although the other cholesterol claim is on the same panel as the authorized health claim, its prominent placement on a banner in the center of the front label, together with its much larger font size, different background, and other text effects, clearly distinguish it from the health claim in the lower left corner.

Additionally, even if the cholesterol-lowering claims were part of an otherwise permissible claim, under 21 CFR 101.81, the resulting claim language still would not qualify for the use of the soluble fiber health claim. To use the soluble fiber health claim, a product must comply with the claim specific requirements in 21 CFR 101.81, including the requirement that the claim not attribute any degree of risk reduction for coronary heart disease to diets that include foods eligible to bear the claim. See 21 CFR 101.81(c)(2)(E). However, the label of your Cheerios® cereal claims a degree of risk reduction for coronary heart disease by stating that Cheerios® can lower cholesterol by four percent in six weeks. High blood total and LDL cholesterol levels are a surrogate endpoint for coronary heart disease; therefore, the cholesterol-lowering claims on the Cheerios® label attribute a degree of risk reduction for coronary heart disease because if total and LDL cholesterol levels decline, the risk of coronary heart disease declines as well.
I don't see the FDA as being in the wrong, here - what they are saying is General Mills can't make the claims the way they are, as Cheerios is not a drug but rather part of a healthful diet that is useful in controlling the problem.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:39 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
I don't see the FDA as being in the wrong, here - what they are saying is General Mills can't make the claims the way they are, as Cheerios is not a drug but rather part of a healthful diet that is useful in controlling the problem.
I don't agree and see this as a very slippery slope for the FDA to be taking. What they are truly complaining about is how the claim is portrayed on the box...

I guess I give the American people a bit more intelligence then what the FDA is giving them credit for. I hardly doubt that the average American cannot make the distinction between a white plastic drug bottle and a cardboard box of whole grain formed into a tiny circle.

What I do not see in today's society is people truly realizing that they can approach health care from a different perspective other then seeing a Doctor and Pharmacist to alleviate a health care problem. We have our president and legislatures discussing at this very moment how to overhaul the health care system. I think it would be truly wonderful for people to make the connection that food intake and improved health can go hand in hand.

I don't think what Cheerios is doing is wrong at all. American's are bombarded with generic statements like "whole grains may reduce your cholesterol", when what they really need is specifics. Okay if you eat 1 serving of Cheerios every morning for 3 weeks, your cholesterol will improve."

Wonder of wonder...we actually have options other then a chemical pill...My word we should be encouraging that kind of stuff, not banning it.

It is specific, solid information. No one is being forced to buy or eat Cheerios...they are simply being given specific information on an alternative method to combat a common issue. Getting all upset over how and where that specific information is displayed on the box is immaterial.

Personally I look forward to the day when we have to stand in line to buy good wholesome food instead of seeing a line of people, 30 deep, waiting at the pharmacy counter waiting for those magical chemical concoctions whose side affects are nearly as detrimental as the ailment of which they are being taken for.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:54 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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This kind of gets my dander up as I have had this distaste for medicines for many years. I will take meds as needed, but I am not the type of person that just takes a pill because my back hurts, or I have a headache or because I have a cold. I try to look at it from a cause and affect sort of thing.

A few years ago I had some neck issues and I could barely turn my head. Its a long story, but it was bad enough to go to the Emergency Room. Luckily I had a Doctor that was good. She sat down and said, "BT, I can give you a pill that will help relax the muscles, or I can give you a pill that helps take away the pain, but you don't need either. You need a massage therpist who will work those muscles loose."

To make a long story short, I called her massage therapist and later she told me that of the hundreds of times she suggested this, I was the first to take her suggestion. The rest had opted or pills. Now in the last 6 years you would not believe the trouble I have had to go through to ensure I continue to get massage therapy covered under insurance. I have run the numbers and my health insurance costs are extremely low yet I have to fight with the insurance company to help them save money...it is insane.

This fight over Cheerios and the FDA is no different. Health care costs are through the roof and rural areas are struggling. They seem like two unrelated things, YET if we can tell society that alternatives exists, and that quality food can certainly address specific health care issues, it will boost the economies of rural areas. Think about it, if eating cheerios can address cholesterol levels, what if a person was to eat locally raised, organic or oats every morning? The local economy, PLUS the health of the person eating it would improve.

The FDA wants to squash this new trend quickly, while I see far greater aspects for giving the American people specific food choices for specific health issues. This is a trend that has just begun and I do not see the FDA being able to hold back the tide on this one. Nor should they. People cannot afford health care as it stands now, and the local farmers cannot stay profitable...I see nothing but good coming out of this new trend that Cheerios has started and ultimately it will help rural America to boot.
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