Thursday, March 04, 2010

FDA to Beverage Companies: Watch How you Tout

Bottle of POM Wonderful brand pomegranate juiceImage via Wikipedia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently sent letters to 16 firms – including five RTD beverage companies – citing ingredient and health claim violations.

The agency’s letter to POM Wonderful said POMs expansive health claims – including boasts that it may help with blood pressure, prostate cancer and erectile function – elevate POM to the level of unapproved drug rather than a food product.

POM’s label lists its nutrition content, the FDA said, by omitting the name of its antioxidant. The label also boasts a high level of “phytochemicals,” which are not eligible for a nutrition panel call-out because the FDA has not established a recommended daily intake for the substance.

The agency slapped Nestle’s Juicy Juice with a warning in December for violating regulations specific to children’s foods and beverages. Its “no sugar added” claim is not authorized for products intended for children under the age of 2, the FDA said. First Juice received a similar warning this month, but the FDA went further with Nestle, calling the labels on the offending products “misleading.” Juicy Juice’s Orange Tangerine and Grape products both claim, in bold letters, to be 100 percent juice, but clarify in smaller letters that they are not 100 percent Orange Tangerine or Grape juice.


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