FDA Issues Not so Kind Letter to Nut Bar Maker

Arrangement of Useful Granola Bars with Muesli, Nuts, Dried Apricots and Bowl of Honey closeup on Black Stone background. Top View

**Food and Drug Administration Moves on Kind Bars to Force Them to Remove “Healthy” Labels** . . .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The KIND® company makes a range of snack bars sold under the tag line “ingredients you can see & pronounce” – primarily manufactured with nuts, grains and dried fruit.  While to the casual observer such foods would be considered “healthy,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked the company, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 343(r)(1)(A) to remove any mention of the term  from its packaging and website (as well as the “+” symbol).  See Warning Letter.  The basis for the FDA’s action is that the term “healthy” and the symbol “+” have specifically defined meanings when they are applied to food labeling.  According to 21 CFR 101.65(d)(2), the term “healthy” means that the food has a number of objective health measures, for example, the food must have saturated fat content of 1 g or less and must have no more than 15 percent of the calories from saturated fat (see also 21 CFR 101.62(c)(2)).  The FDA asserts that certain Kind Bars, such as their Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut and Fruit & Nut Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants all contain at least twice the base amount of saturated fat and all had more than 15% in total of their caloric measure in saturated fat.  Notably, the “+” symbol is also regulated.  According to 21 CFR 101.54(e), “+” can only be used where the food has at least 10 percent more of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of the nutrient value of specific baseline reference foods.  According to the FDA, the Kind Bars do not contain that reference adjacent to the “+” sign on their labels.    Many nutritionists have sided with Kind stating that the regulation limiting saturated fats should exclude such fats from nuts because they are inherently healthful.  Kind’s public statement appears however, to suggest they are complying with the mandate of the warning letter.

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