(NaturalNews) Media reports recently revealed that on March 17, the FDA sent a stern letter to the makers of Kind Bars warning them that their labels were making health claims in violation of U.S. law. The FDA claimed that terms such as “healthy” cannot be applied to Kind Bars because the bars are too high in (healthy) fats from nuts. They added that the bars cannot be marketed as “plus antioxidants” because the FDA does not recognize the antioxidants found in chocolate.
“You should take prompt action to correct the violations,” the letter reads. “Failure to promptly correct the violations may result in regulatory action without further notice, including seizure and/or injunction.”
Nuts not healthy?
Although the FDA also objected to various minor or strictly regulatory irregularities in the labels, most of the letter focuses on the agency’s refusal to accept Kind Bars’ health claims.
According to U.S. law, a product can only be advertised as “healthy” if it contains less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving, the letter states. Four varieties of Kind Bars have been marketed with this claim even though they contain more than 2.5 grams of saturated fat per serving.
The Kind Bars in question also make the completely truthful health claims “good source of fiber” and “no trans fats.” Nevertheless, these health claims are prohibited, the FDA states, unless the label also explicitly states the fat content of each bar. Why? Because the foods are “high” in fat, and therefore not “healthy.”
The company acknowledged that according to FDA rules, Kind Bars are indeed mislabeled, but it objected to a definition of “healthy” that excludes all fat. The majority of the fat in Kind Bars comes from nuts, the company said.
“Nuts … contain nutritious fats that exceed the amount allowed under the FDA’s standard,” the company said. “This is similar to other foods that do not meet the standard for use of the term healthy, but are generally considered to be good for you like avocados, salmon and eggs.”
Studies have shown that the fats found in nuts can help prevent heart attack and stroke as well as improve skin health and brain function.
Health experts remain split on the impact of saturated fats in the diet, but evidence is increasingly showing that these fats also provide important health benefits. Even those who are critical of saturated fats admit that they are essential nutrients that promote health when consumed in moderation.
Law ignores antioxidants in chocolate
The FDA also objected to Kind Bars that bear the labels “+ protein,” “+ antioxidants,” and “antioxidant rich.”
According to FDA rules, the term “plus” can only be used when the nutrient in question exceeds 10 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI). No such value has been established for protein, so no food can be marketed as “+ protein.”
The only antioxidants for which the federal government has established RDIs are vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene. Because of this, the FDA rejected the label “plus antioxidants” along with “antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.”
In other words, the fact that dark chocolate is known to be rich in antioxidants that provide powerful health benefits is irrelevant under U.S. food labeling law.
Kind Bar has already stated that it is working to bring its labels into compliance with the law, but it has no intention of changing the formulation of its products.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our snack foods and their nutritional benefits,” the company said. “While we make these updates to our packaging and our website, please know that our recipes will stay the same.”
(Natural News Science)
Written by David Gutierrez
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