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Author: Subject: FDA vs. Cheerio's
Intergalactic_Captain
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[*] posted on 9-7-2011 at 01:37
FDA vs. Cheerio's


This has nothing to do with the area of amateur chemistry or research, but I think it deserves a topic here... At the very least the recent Cheerio's ads have been bugging the shit out of me, and I'm guessing that others here can guess why...

If you're an American who watches television, you can probably remember that not many years ago General Mills started their "Cheerios will lower your risk of heart disease" campaign - After a good run, the FDA called them out and forced them to stop running ads purporting what were essentially unsupported medical claims (a big taboo in this country)...

So what do they do? They came up with the "Cheerios will cut your cholesterol by 10 points" campaign, which was again shut down by the FDA for the aformentioned reason... Did GM realize that they should focus on the sheer deliciousness of honey-nut cheerios as a marketing tactic? NO - They came out with their most recent campaign;

Now, I'm being bombarded with ads featuring families who seem to be overjoyed and perplexed at the idea that "Cheerios can help lower your cholesterol"... What, did the FDA tell them that they could say whatever the fuck they want as long as they don't try be all scientific and attach a number to it?

...I'm not a particular fan of governmental regulation/intrusion into my personal choices, but the FDA is one organization who's stated mission, at least, I wholeheartedly support... The Pure Food and Drug Act was a milestone in basic "knowledge rights"... The idea was that we, the consumers, should be informed of EXACTLY what is in the products we consume - The establishment of the FDA allowed an additional layer of oversight in that any claims of a medical nature regarding the use of a given product must be substantiated through research, or, at the very least, not complete and total bullshit (GRAS vs homeopathy vs the placebo effect)...

...That said, WTF? I've got my conspiracy theories, but why is GM still allowed to pull this crap? Did the FDA tell them "You can't say THIS, but we'll let THAT slide?" I suppose this is more of a rant than anything important, but my tax dollars are (in a very small part) paying the people who are supposed to be looking out for us to just kick back and let it slide until they're forced to do something... Tis the way of things in this country, I suppose, but Cheerios are really starting to piss me the fuck off...




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[*] posted on 9-7-2011 at 15:04


I would bet there's a small print disclaimer. Also, maybe they got better evidence?

Definitely could lower cholesterol if you're replacing bacon with Cheerios!
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[*] posted on 9-7-2011 at 15:57


'can help' are advertising weasel words that allow you to make just about any claim.
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[*] posted on 10-7-2011 at 05:21


Quote: Originally posted by bbartlog  
'can help' are advertising weasel words that allow you to make just about any claim.



Very sharp.....
"Can help" makes no specific medical claim; it simply states that under certain conditions (bacon vs wheat by-products) it may be a better choice.

Cheerios is a very interesting topic to anyone who happens to have diabetes. Cheerios has SO much sucrose it is almost obscene. But realistically, most classic American commercial "breakfast cereals" do.




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[*] posted on 18-7-2011 at 14:48


Sponsor the right research, only publicise the specifics, happens all the time with eg superfoods
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[*] posted on 18-7-2011 at 17:21


http://www.acaloriecounter.com/breakfast-cereal.php
http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-general-mills-cheerio...
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[*] posted on 20-7-2011 at 14:17


I just had a bowl of Cheerios. I put turkey bacon (without nitrites or nitrates) in sandwiches with non-fat cheese slices, lettuce and imitation low saturated fat/no egg mayonaise (Vegonaise). I'm able to keep my blood pressure down with diet and exercise. No more benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's tea.



[Edited on 20-7-2011 by Vogelzang]
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[*] posted on 20-7-2011 at 16:45


I recently started eating whole foods, just things that aren't processed, things found around the perimeter of the store. I try to eat very little meat or high fat foods.
Some nutritionist said it raises the potassium/sodium ratio when you eat a lot of plants. I've lost about 15 pounds and am at an ideal weight for my height now. It's pretty easy to pick out unprocessed plant products, they are things your grandparents would recognize as food. ha

"There is some irony I will admit that one of the conservation actions I now advocate is to limit the consumption of meat. I, for one, strive to be a weekday vegetarian and avoid meat most of the time; however, my French heritage encourages the occasional indulgence as well as a blissful stroll down memory lane."
http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/07/14/philippe-cousteaus-happy...

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[*] posted on 23-7-2011 at 15:33


glad it's working out for you but i'm gonna die fat n happy. everything tastes better with bacon!



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[*] posted on 23-7-2011 at 19:13


The FDA will probably harass them some more if they feel like it.

I would say curious claims with regards to medicine are actually more of a problem in the US than they are in Europe. Pharmaceutical companies aren't allowed anywhere near direct contact with the public. Advertising a prescription drug on the TV is simply banned. As are any kinds of claims that something might be close to fixing a disease. Personally, I'd go even further and ban the reps from being allowed to advertise to doctors. The decision on pharmaceutical schemes should only be decided upon by the BMA, who are about the only people equipped to see through the specially selected results.

There has been a stronger surge of health food claims in adverts, but they are very careful with that, even with the weasel word approach. The only product that comes to my mind and makes a direct, outright claim like that is Flora, which has been claiming to lower cholesterol, when used as a butter substitute, for as long as I can remember; due to it containing unsaturated fats. It's base is partially hydrogenated synthetic olefins I think, petrochemical style. Then they started adding sunflower oil and such to it.

Rather than saying "It will do this", they tend to say "fortified with", which is legally bolstered by the idea of informing consumers of content, but well away from discussing what it may or may not do. Here, they focus more on the idea of "5 a day", meaning five portions of fruit and vegetables. Usually integrating the phrase into "helping you get your five a day" as the product contains some percentage of it. I think it may already be the case that it has to contain at least one serving unit to count, otherwise the claims would get silly; e.g. the boxes these come in are stored beside carrots before shipping. They usually show a handful of something, which means one unit.

Before that big drive, which was government initiated due to the fast food uptake, it seemed to be more about water, as a "people don't drink enough water" thing came through.

Both are quite true, and it is a good thing there's been so much put into stopping kids only drinking coke and eating sweets in primary schools, but as the government says these things, it was the body that allowed private companies into schools to serve the kids lunch. Companies which are, for all intents, fast food producers serving meals that cost less to produce than prison meals. Like with our banned adverts, in Italy, serving reclaimed, processed food to school kids has been banned. As someone who has been in contact with many hundreds of pre-teens for many years, I am stunned by how many of them are fed breakfast and dinner from McDonalds, on a daily basis. And their lunch from fast food caterers. That can not be a great idea. But things are getting a bit better, as the kids now have a water fountain in each room, so they can get a drink more than once every three hours, of water, and there are small bowls of things like sweet peas and oranges or tomatoes. The idea behind the fruit is not solely to provide vitamins, but because some of them will be led to believe they're 'yucky' without ever having tasted them, by their parents.

We have Nestle here, who have grown into a gigantic producer of chocolate biscuits, coffee, sweets, chocolate milkshake powder and cereal. We have 'Cocopops', which are basically identical to the things by a very similar name in the US.

A while ago, they released a product that was a cereal based straw, lined with chocolate. Their Cocopops catchphrase has always been "Makes the milk taste chocolatey!". They overstepped the mark by claiming outright in the ads that it was a healthy breakfast idea because it involved drinking milk. The advert was banned and they returned to just the catchphrase. I believe they've now switched to using plastic for the straws because the originals melted. I remember getting paper straws as a kid. Never worked. :D





[Edited on 24-7-2011 by peach]




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[*] posted on 27-7-2011 at 18:54


Another case for eating Cheerios perhaps.

"They also die slow miserable deaths ..."
50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s47ArcQL-XQ#t=29m51s



[Edited on 28-7-2011 by Morgan]
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[*] posted on 4-8-2011 at 02:58


Forgot about the cearal-straw thing, thanks for bringing it back up! I remember the massive marketing campaing and then the sudden dissappearance in the US - "Hey, are you a lazy parent? Your fat fuck kid wants more breakfast? Here, this barely constitutes a food product, but it'll start your day off with fun and keep both of you happy!"

...Or at least that's what I got from the commercials, not sure on the rest of you... Not on the original topic, but when's the last time anyone acutally READ and CONTEMPLATED the actual serving sizes on a given product? Breakfast cereals may not be the worst, but they're up there... Next time you eat a bowl of cereal, think about how much you're eating - Then compare it to what the box says - Are you really getting 17 servings, or closer to 4-6? Sure, if you follow the box, they MAY have a leg to stand on, but at the end of the day they're (cheerio's at least) still claiming to be what is essentially a drug that should lower your cholesterol...

...I'm sorry, but if you honestly believe that eating a mainstream-American breakfast cereal will cure what ills you, well, for lack of a better way of saying it, you're fucked... I'm sure the "3-squares" system is more ingrained in the american mind than it is in many other cultures, but it's something that needs to simply die - Even the 2000 calorie diet. Hell, the FDA FINALLY got around to retooling the food pyramid. Yeah, a hundred years ago, the average american actually got up off his ass and did a hard days work;

Where is our society now? Get a wage-donkey service job or go on welfare... Yes, there are hard-working people out there - But by and large, they're of a generation behind mine...

...I should probably note that the original post ((and this one) was mostly an angry drunken rant directed at a cheerios commercial - I was hoping there would be more commentary regarding the FDA, but the european perspective on the matter is definitely something to ponder upon...




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[*] posted on 6-8-2011 at 05:53


-op

I. It's called a health claim. It must relate part of the product to how it can help a disease. I believe the original was closer to "Eating whole grains like those found in honey nut cheerios can help lower your cholesterol". The fact must already be accepted by the FDA, or the company and do a lot of studies and try to present it to the FDA.

II. Nutrient content claim. The product states the amount of a nutrient in the product and may also add a low, high, zero to that.

III. Structure/Function claim. The product states a fact, ex "fiber helps promote bowel regularity". They cannot say good/bad, how much is inside the product.


These are some of the general limits everything must apply to, however there are other products that the FDA is even stricter with. baby formula can only say 2 claims and every formulation(including packaging) must be pre-approved by the FDA before sale. Also, supplements are not regulated. But they must say they are not regulated by the FDA on the front.



--- To all of you who think 'natural' and 'organic' are ways to live 10,000 years in perfect heath, I want to punch you in the face.

First off, natural has no legal definition. Any company can just add it to the label.

Now to my true hatred of "organic" food. It's just a fad. It's not possible to feed even part of the world if everyone switched. The only reason an organic farmer can stay in business is because they have to charge almost twice as much, and get a ton of government grants. If you really look into it, you'll shit your self when you see some of the things that can be considered organic. If someone can find a way to make ANYTHING(except those explicitly forbidden, even if unapproved), then it can be used in organic farming/food. There have also been NO scientific studies that show it's healthier to eat organic.

-Vegetarians, stop being pussies. A balanced diet, that will make you the healthiest, includes everything on the new food plate thing. Meat has many essential proteins and nutrients not found in high quantities in veggies. Humans won't thrive, but they'll survive on it. However, if you try it with a cat it will die.


Next, why do you guys(natural/organic) hate genetically modified foods? All of your resistance is slowing down adoption of them, and killing people. They've made rice that has B vitamins, so millions in Africa wont die from beriberi. Crops that can survive drought, insects, and don't need fertilizer. Just think of all the habitat destruction that could be stopped, and chemicals not used. If everyone was on board, we could have supplied the world with biofuels and stopped global warming.



Lastly, I just want to say don't be afraid of technology. It's improved so many things about our lives. Medicine, food preservation, nutrition. Quit thinking it's a conspiracy, read food labels and count the servings/calories. It's actually true, if you burn as many calories as you eat, you won't gain weight. Burn more and lose some. Quit thinking everything's just propaganda and read/accept scientific facts. If this keeps up we'll be burning witches and retreat to the dark ages.







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[*] posted on 8-8-2011 at 00:59


rjertap, let me dissassemble your argument in a most retaliatory manner. This post was originally a rant, but your corporate-shill "let's say whatever the fuck we want" attitude has given me the motivation to dig into this further - Here's the first of more to come. Point-by point with your numbers;

1 - This falls into the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) category of products labeled as supplements, general claims based on legitimate research (this will be elaborated upon later). The "health claim" idea is outright bullshit - Yes, certain things have been know to prevent and treat certain conditions - When you make grandiose claims and/or attach numbers to them, you constitute a drug in the United States. For example - I can say that eating turkey bacon instead of regular bacon will help lower your saturated fat intake. I cannot, however, say that eating turkey bacon instead of regular bacon will lower your saturated fat intake by 12% or more, without actual research and backing by the FDA... See what I'm getting at here?

2 - Vitamin/mineral/supplement content was never brought up in the original or replacement ads, the FDA shitstorm, or this thread...

3 - Way to mention fiber - such an ambiguous term. I'm sure you're well are of this, since it would appear you're a GM schill, so here's a link to the FDA's revised rules that led to the ambiguosity GM probably based this campaign on;
http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/LabelClaims/Health...

That was 2002 - What happened over the next 7 years? Not sure yet, but the current plan is to dig up what I can find and post it here... Until then, here's the two most important links on the matter;

http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2...

http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodLabelingGuidan...

-In case you're not going to read them, #1 is the FDA telling GM "you can't call your cereal a drug," and #2 is the FDA saying that "we received your response, but 75% the research you cited does not support your claims."

And, just because someone else might try to post this and call me out, here's link 3;
http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm161795....

-Posted by the FDA between 1 and 2, stating that although the numbers are bullshit, the obscure rationale the claims are based on is technically passable - Despite the outright bullshit the original claims were based on.

...And rjetrap - I'll get to the rest in due time - I'll sum up most of your argument in saying that most of us here aren't afraid of genetic modification, rather that unrestrained deployment and the fact of patentability both preface and reflect the burgeoning reality that we will ALL be slaves to Monsanto and their cronies at some point in time in exchange for the fucking right to eat.




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[*] posted on 23-10-2011 at 15:39


Ben goldacre's book bad science is very very informative and although i don't agree with his personal views it's still a good book and Heomeopaths beware you know what you do is bullshiting (he actually covers this it's a hoot of a book) and scamming sick people, I could not live with myself if i did that.

Also I will and want to die fat and happy vs. skinny as a rail and starving.




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[*] posted on 24-10-2011 at 09:07



When it comes to snuffing it all bets are off as to what people may or may not do.
Steve Jobs has been reported as giving the 'roots and vegetables' too much time to his detriment.
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[*] posted on 24-10-2011 at 15:13


Desperation & ignorance can be effective lock-picks to most wallets.

"Bad Science" is something that most all countries have to live with. I would NEVER bet against someone coming up the examples of Bad Science in examples from around the world. In fact, the internet has given a whole new jump start to Quackery, junk science, and marketing foolery as never before.
In the USA we have tabloid newspapers and magazines displayed when one goes to pay for food at the market. Most of this is SO unbelievable that many of people dismiss it out of hand -yet, it HAS to sell to someone, as it IS a profit-making venture.
As standards of education roll down hill, the sad reality of junk science & outright falsehoods commensurately rise. Many years ago we lived in a "buyer beware" society to such a high degree that (perhaps) most people believed we needed a governmental intervention and over-sight agenda. Yet dependency on such things can lead many to believe that if something is "allowed" to be written it is true, has merit, is harmless unless stated, & so forth. In some instances common sense and critical thinking have become an exception rather than a rule.




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[*] posted on 31-10-2011 at 03:58


Quicksilver i think you are Ben it's just like your quoting him.:):D;):o:P



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[*] posted on 5-11-2011 at 11:21


quicksilver said:

Quote:
Cheerios has SO much sucrose it is almost obscene.


What? I just looked and Cheerios contain 4.8 % sugars (w/w) and that's probably not all sucrose (though I'm sure most of it is). That just doesn't seem like very much to me. You eat 250 g of Cheerios (the whole box) and you only ingest 12 g of sugar. That's much less than the total recommended daily intake; and that's a shit-load of Cheerios!

This may be a significant amount of sugar compared to tree bark and acorns but, as far as cereals and edible food in general go, I think this is not even close to being "obscene".




"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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[*] posted on 6-11-2011 at 06:19


I'm diabetic, so it's common place for me to look
I like 'em - I still eat them, I's just a always have to moderate that get's to be a chore.

However, once a person gets onto reading what they can access and then going to a pull it's MDDS. , very likely, the majority lab chemicals are obtainable at 1/2 the cost.

[Edited on 6-11-2011 by quicksilver]




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[*] posted on 8-11-2011 at 20:22


"There have also been NO scientific studies that show it's healthier to eat organic."

Am I the only one that says, "Shit!" when I see a package of food I like only to turn it over and read that there are no preservatives? I want preservatives in my food. Put them in there! I want my food to stay as fresh as possible for the longest possible time.




"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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[*] posted on 9-11-2011 at 13:33


Certainly "organic" food (what else - inorganic?) is a scam. Local high quality produce has always existed just fine without this product designation craziness.
Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe  
"There have also been NO scientific studies that show it's healthier to eat organic."

Who said that was the point? I was quite sure that the main point of "organic" food was that it tastes better than industry crap. And yes - you will taste the difference under double blind conditions. Plus of course ethical reasons like feeling better drinking milk from a cow that has seen daylight in her life (not an issue for the tough guys here, of course). And ecological reasons like not wasting energy on transporting food around the world (with the paradox situation that strawberries grown in Sweden under artificial light waste more energy than letting them ripe on an cargo boat from South Africa). And so on, but who said anything about health?
Quote:
Am I the only one that says, "Shit!" when I see a package of food I like only to turn it over and read that there are no preservatives? I want preservatives in my food. Put them in there! I want my food to stay as fresh as possible for the longest possible time.

What they mean is no "artificial" (what is that anyway?) preservatives. Where do you draw the line between preservative and souring agent? What about table salt - flavour enhancer or preservative?

Humanity has 2000 years of experience in making durable food. Quality untreated honey stays good for years. I don't see why someone would add preservatives? And let's not forget the age old culture technique called fermentation. It's mostly the tasteless stuff (American style white bread - yuck :() that needs large amounts of chemical preservatives.
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