Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
May 13th, 2009
12:23 PM ET

FDA vs. Cheerios

General Mills calls it a language issue, but the Food and Drug Administration says Cheerios is an unapproved drug. Why? Well, Cheerios claims on its box that it can cut cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease. The FDA says, wait one minute, only drugs it approves can make that claim. As a consumer, all that matters is whether or not it works.

Is the FDA making a mountain out of a molehill on this issue or do they have a point? What do you think?

Post your comments below


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Penny Taylor

    Oatmeal also claims to lower cholesterol, and does. Does the FDA want to stick their nose into that too? Does the FDA even care that this food item can in fact lower cholesterol and it is not a drug? Or does the FDA want us rely on drugs to lower cholesterol? The FDA has way too much time on their hands.

    May 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  2. michael armstrong sr.

    so what cherios lied at least there not asking for a bail out ?

    May 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Loretta Koon

    Forget abot the great "cheerios" issue. The FDA should concentrate on approving new drugs that can help Cancer, AIDS, MS and help people who desperately need them!!! CHEERIOS???

    May 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  4. jeff p

    I always knew Cheerios was a drug. That's why I smoke a bowl every morning. Yeah!

    May 13, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  5. David

    I love Cheerios, I have a couple bowls a day. Are there rules for making claims about the health effects of foods that are also applicable here?

    Also House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, "nuzzling in" as you said to pt out that President Obama has accomplished more in healthcare than any admin since the establishment of Medicare, was a good supportive note and helped give me some perspective on the President's remarks. Sometimes those spontaneous remarks, this one coming from Madam Speaker, are kind of nice to hear.

    May 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  6. Sophie Lyday

    What non-Catholics fail to understand is that abortion is not open to debate. You cannot debate the taking of an innocent life as ever being okay; the end never justifies the end. This is not man's law; it is God's law. Would President Obama open up our Bill of Rights with someone opposed to our way of life with the idea that something can be changed as incorrect with our Bill of Rights? The killing of innocents makes losers of us al. Any one of an aborted baby could have changed the world that could have made life richer, easier, better for us all, but we will never know, will we?

    Thank you,

    May 14, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  7. Bonnie Waletzko

    Notre Dame will no longer be considered a Catholic Institution if President Obama's speech is permitted. Everyone knows his stance on abortion which is not right if you believe that every baby is a gift of God. Is a baby only a gift if you want the baby?
    If President Obama is permitted to speak against this Catholic truth about life and he is allowed to say that abortion is honorable, then Notre Dame should not be honored with Catholic ears to hear him speak.
    Bonnie

    May 14, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  8. Randall

    With Cheerios now on the hit list, this once again illustrates how ridiculous this nations drug policies are. Kids are getting, selling, and using real and deadly drugs on a daily basis, some of them not even legally manufactured by the drug industry, and the FDA is once again going to save society by saving us from that horrible side effect that causes ones bad cholesterol to drop. Keep up the stupidity, FDA. You'll drive Cheerios underground too, then it can become a criminal issue so law enforcement can start arresting people for simple possession of Cheerios, much like they do those who dare possess marijuana. And don't give it a second thought. We're used to laws that have nothing to do with common sense.

    May 14, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  9. Ron Cole

    From what I've read to find out about this, it appears it's all about the way the study was conducted by General Mills about Cheerios. Apparently, none of the studies were conducted under controlled conditions and the results are questionable at best, generally misleading at worse.

    Although their claims about lowering cholesterol aren't exactly accurate, thier advertising technique is rather normal for the U.S. markets and the consumers who swallow it up are about the norm as well.

    I applaud the FDA's efforts to make headroads into the problem of 'truth in advertising' - something where almost no 'real' truth exist - yet, I still have an issue about who they've choosen to make an example out of. You see, Cheerios have never killed anyone as far as I know unlike many of the drugs that the FDA approved, especially in the last couple of decades. The very strong likelyhood, and certainly apperance that the FDA is in the back pockets of many of the pharmaceutical companies and how they tend to overlook the lethal dangers of many prescribed drugs is the strange part of the whole equation.

    A recent study from the University of Toronto claims 102,000 people are killed annually from prescribed drugs in the U.S., and this is not something Cheerios seems to be doing the the general public.

    So, at the end of the day, I like the fact they are paying attention to truth in advertising, but am cautious about the fact they don't go after companies that are killing our citizens in wholesale numbers from drugs that are far more dangerous than should be allowed. Indeed, it makes me wonder where the motivation for the Cheerios thing really came from and what their true motives really are.

    May 14, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  10. Jack Medley

    Honestly, when I see infomercials splattered across my TV screen with non-approved drugs... I highly question the stance of the FDA at all. Fix your priorities FDA. To put it in simple terms so that you can understand what I'm saying.... You suck! Fix yourself.

    May 14, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Eddie

    does this mean fruits and veggies are a drug, or how about milk? I mean it does a body good. eh? and oh oh oh...what about bran...oh..the list could go on and on my friend.

    May 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  12. ZimZim

    You can't be serious? Cheerios?

    May 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  13. janet

    don't cha just love the FHA? .. unapproved drugs? Humm. Well the law that states you can't cure or claim you cure cancer or any disease unless it's done by chemo, surgery or drugs (I wonder who lobbied that one. . follow the $$$) is WRONG and should be changed because people have been curing cancer in America since at least the 1930s . .Google Royal Rife or Ms. Budwig (7X nobel prize nom for curing cancer) . .but I would look into the GMO sugar beets that are currently in 85% of all our cereals and the FDA is NOT requiring the labeling of this and why is this legal anyways? Oh ya .. folowing $$$. If you don't believe in God, then I get it .. man made is superior/best. . of course you will get sick, have liver failure, cancer, you name it. When you go against nature .. there are consequences .. disease.

    May 15, 2009 at 12:26 am |
  14. Charles Kopack

    This is just another example of FDA sticking its nose into things it does not have too. According to the FDA and the AMA (American Malpractice Association) "everything comes down to DRUGS. [As if drugs were the answer to everything.]

    Looking at the track record of the FDA, in past years, they seem to seldom get anything right (i.e. all of the food scares).

    According to FDA, if it isn't a drug it isn't good for you.

    They are against alternative health approaches – why – because it takes money out of doctors' pockets.

    When is the FDA going to get its act together.

    May 15, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  15. bdmixon

    Mother Nature provides celery which can lower cholesterol....let the FDA try and put controls on her. Where were these idiots educated or shall I ask what did they do with their education?

    May 16, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  16. JP

    This action by the FDA was in response to specific claims on the packaging not general claims of lowering cholesterol. Of course the FDA should take this action. This is a public safety issue similar to any false health claim.

    May 17, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  17. Ernie Jr

    *edit* You cant regulate whole grain, whole grain regulates you. That my friend should be the *debate* here

    June 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  18. j. adelmann

    If one listens to the 911 call for help for Michael Jackson, the unknown caller relays information to the doctor to put the victim on the floor. Does it occur that any doctor would know that and would have already had the victim on the floor for effective CPR action.

    June 27, 2009 at 3:23 pm |