Cheerios’ Cholesterol Claims Under Fire by FDA

May 19, 2009

Think Cheerios lowers your cholesterol? You’ve had good reason to think so. You’ve seen it on the Cheerios boxes, the commercials, the website (if you’ve looked), and apparently, you could have heard it blasted to you over your “supermarket public address systems.

Well, according to CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), the FDA has demanded “that General Mills halt its grossly exaggerated and misleading health claims for Cheerios cereal.

What are the claims?

  • Cheerios can reduce “bad” cholesterol levels by 4 percent in just 6 weeks
  • Cheerios can ward off heart disease and cancers of the colon and stomach

These are pretty serious claims and General Mills doesn’t provide any evidence to back them up (the actor on the commercial definitely doesn’t count).

According to CSPI, the FDA does support a general claim that “eating diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fiber-containing fruit, vegetable, and grain products may reduce the risk of heart disease. But the claims for Cheerios portrayed the mentioned diseases not included in the FDA-authorized claim and failed to mention the importance of eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.” So General Mills ran with this just because Cheerios has some processed wheat in it.

This is a very strong move by the FDA, and if General Mills does not comply, Cheerios will be taken off the shelf and possibly taken to court. What products could be next? The CSPI legal director Bruce Silverglade explains, “the FDA is signaling the entire food industry that the Bush era policy of lax enforcement has come to an end. The FDA should also stop misleading claims for so-called ‘whole grain’ products that are mostly made with white flour and foods claimed to be made with fruit when they only contain trivial amounts of juice.” That is probably half of most grocery stores!

If you were looking to lower your cholesterol with Cheerios, don’t fret. There are several alternative treatments that have been proven to do the trick, including garlic, artichoke, and good ole vitamin B3. Check About.com: Alternative Medicine for more.

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5 Responses to “Cheerios’ Cholesterol Claims Under Fire by FDA”

  1. Joy Says:

    That is great news! Cheerios is a box of blood sugar rising crappola.

  2. Linden Says:

    The FDA is not questioning the validity of the claims Cherrios made about their product.
    While this issue may appear to some as the FDA protecting consumers from false advertising by a large corporation, that is not the case. For years FDA has been keeping various food producers from telling consumers about the healthful nature of their product. For example, cherry growers were targeted by the FDA and kept from referencing peer-reviewed scientific articles proving cherries’ health benefits for gout and arthritis. FDA has also barred health claims about the benefits of fish oil for heart, cancer, depression, body pain, and various other conditions. This type of FDA enforcement isn’t protecting us but restricting consumer access to scientific studies that could provide extremely valuable information.


  3. Thank you very much for your comment! I agree this statement is very true of the FDA’s attacks. It will be very interesting to see if Cheerios can support its claims, and if they can be supported, if they will be allowed to stay in print. Although GM is a very large corporation, the verdict will be used to decide how supplements making health claims are treated in the future.

  4. Tea Dress : Says:

    alternative treatments that are based on natural and organic stuffs are the best :

  5. Marylouise Nails Says:

    Cholesterol is a very familiar medical term almost to anyone, particularly the middle age group. It is a common thing the word will never be a part of teen-age lingo. The main reason is, most of the dreaded ailments accompanying “high cholesterol” levels are associated with hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and other long term and acquired conditions, which does not could also happen to younger generation as juvenile complications. To make it clear, when the majority is talking about lowering cholesterol, it is all about alleviating the further progress of bad cholesterol.There are two kinds of cholesterol accumulating or present in the human body. ^

    Newest content article on our web blog
    <http://www.healthmedicinelab.com/gnat-bites/


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