WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration here sent a letter in June to a Massachusetts cereal manufacturer warning that two of its products were misbranded. However, the cereals -- containing "novel" ingredients -- had been discontinued for almost a year by then.
Charles T. Verde, president, U.S. Mills, Needham, Mass., told SN that in April 2000, his company acquired New Morn, which had originally introduced New Morning Organic GinkgO's and Organic Ginseng Crunch. Both products were discontinued by July or August 2000.
On both, packaging identified the foods as "An Herbal Dietary Supplement," rather than as a conventional food. The FDA objected to them on those grounds.
But Verde said that shortly after U.S. Mills bought New Morn, it discontinued the two cereals because "it wasn't consistent with our strategy. We don't make health claims." Its other brands include Uncle Sam's whole grain wheat cereal with flaxseed, which dates to 1908, Verde said.
"At the time that we became aware of these two misbranded products, they were available in the marketplace, which is why we pursued our enforcement action," said an Aug.1 letter to Verde signed by John B. Foret, director, Division of Compliance and Enforcement, Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements, of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.