Cheerios Cereal – An ‘Unapproved Drug’
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on August 21, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
The cereal is touted as being a good helper in lowering a person’s cholesterol, with claims written on the box of cereal itself stating: “diets rich in whole grain foods can reduce the risk of heart disease.” These statements can also be found on the website of General Mills.
However, once again the government has stepped in to interfere. A warning letter was sent to General Mills on 5 May 2009, by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The letter stated that the healthy claims that General Mills has placed on its Cheerios cereal box were ‘serious violations’ of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as well as other applicable regulations.
Therefore, based purely on General Mill’s health claims, the FDA is now recognizing that Cheerios cereal is an unapproved drug and will now need to surrender to the FDA’s new drug approval process.
This is not the first time that the Food and Drug Administration has sent such warning letters to other food producers, in an attempt to prohibit them from revealing the true healthy nature of their products to their loyal consumers.
In one instance, cherry growers were under fire by the FDA for using references to peer-reviewed scientific articles in order to prove that cherries were indeed helpful in dealing with gout and arthritis.
In another example of FDA intervention, the health benefits of fish oil for a person’s heart health, depression treatment, cancer prevention and arthritis pain were once barred by the FDA.
This ban was only lifted once one particular drug company paid a lot of money so that the FDA could run the fish oil through its stringent approval process.
Since the time it was FDA approved, that specific fish oil retails for much more than any other non-FDA approved fish oil.
The problem this interference causes is that it restricts a general customer’s ability to have total access to scientific studies that can provide the customer with beneficial information as it also censors such scientific information. Another drawback of such an intrusion is that it causes the cost of public healthcare to skyrocket.
Tami Wahl, the Legislative Director of the American Association for Health Freedom, explained the FDA’s stance:
“FDA is not questioning the validity of the claims made by General Mills. Instead, FDA is saying General Mills cannot tell consumers that Cheerios may have beneficial health effects. The policy behind FDA’s action is government censorship, plain and simple. For General Mills not to be able to inform the public about the scientific evidence that Cheerios can help lower cholesterol, a rising health concern for Americans, serves no purpose. American consumers want to take charge of their personal health, and need as much valid information as possible to help them make responsible choices.”
So considering all these points above what exactly is the motive behind the meddling affairs of the Food and Drug Administration? It actually seems that the Food and Drug Administration does not want the general public to eat foods that are beneficially healthy for them. People are becoming more and more suspicious of the FDA’s involvement in their choices of supplements, food and drinks, believing that the Food and Drug Administration has a hidden agenda in that they do not want the public to eat healthy foods so that they can seek medical help for their ailments and be treated with expensive FDA-approved drugs and other medicines.
However, the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process for drugs and other supplements is a very lengthy and expensive process, and as such, is usually unsuitable for a food product.
Another aspect of the control that the Food and Drug Administration strives to have over all medications, supplements, drinks and food products is that they wish to have power over all of the scientific information that is made available to the general public concerning public health.
However, every consumer in the United States has the right to be educated regarding claims about food products that are scientifically based, and should therefore, be allowed to appear on food product labels.
The American Association for Health Freedom strongly believes that the general public should have the right to have access to every single scientific study that was, and is, ever done concerning food and food products that they are likely to eat or drink. At this time, it appears that the only scientific studies that are available for consumers to view are those studies that have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, usually after a manufacturer has paid big money to be approved.
Photo Credit: bpende
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan