It is downright amazing (and frustrating) to see the variety of ways the FDA interprets the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It seems Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale can’t say ‘enhanced with’. But, Pet Food can include meat sourced from diseased animals. Yet another ridiculous but true FDA absurdity.
In a recent Warning Letter to ‘Dr Pepper Snapple Group’, the FDA stated “Your Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale is misbranded within the meaning of …the Act” (The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act). Misbranded because of the word ‘enhanced’ is on the label. Here’s a quote from the FDA Warning Letter to Canada Dry…
“Your Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale bears the claim, “ENHANCED WITH 200 mg OF ANTIOXIDANTS FROM GREEN TEA & VITAMIN C**” with the double asterisk referring to the statement, “* *Each 8 oz serving contains 200 mg of antioxidants from Green Tea Flavonoids and Vitamin C” on the principal display panel of the product label. In the context of this label the term “enhanced” is an unauthorized synonym for a “more” nutrient content claim. FDA has defined the nutrient content claim “more” and its authorized synonyms in 21 CFR 101.54(e).” http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm224571.htm
It seems that Canada Dry could have used the word ‘more’ – but not the word ‘enhanced’. Shame on you Canada Dry for trying to mislead the public with such word trickery as ‘enhanced’. Isn’t it great the FDA is so closely protecting the soda drinking public; hot on the trail of any unauthorized words in soft drink advertising. Whew; there’s one worry off my mind. 😉
I wonder why the FDA doesn’t protect the pet owning public so strictly? In the extreme opposite of Canada Dry, any pet food manufacturer is allowed to make “an unqualified claim, either directly or indirectly…” on pet food labels (AAFCO regulation PF7.Nutritional Adequacy). Any pet food manufacturer can use meat or animal products from diseased animals and animals that have been euthanized or have died prior to slaughter – a direct violation of The Act – with FDA approval. (CPG Sec. 675.400 Rendered Animal Feed Ingredients http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/UCM074717)
Seriously…how can this be? It is so absurd, it seems unbelievable. As sickening, illegal, immoral, and unbelievable as it might be – it is true. The Food and Drug Administration, supported by the tax dollars of United States Citizens (63% of U.S. households are pet owners), enforces Federal law to the fullest extent in one field (health claims such as enhanced antioxidants) and completely ignores basic law in another (pet food and treats).
Not that it will even be read, below is a copy of my email sent to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg (dated 9/9/2010).
While I respect the immense task you have as Commissioner of the FDA, I remain dumbfounded at the clear FDA permission to pet food and animal food manufacturers to violate Federal law (the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act).
Please read your FDA Compliance policies CPG Sec. 675.400 Rendered Animal Feed Ingredients, CPG Sec. 690.500 Uncooked Meat for Animal Food, CPG Sec. 675.100 Diversion of Contaminated Food for Animal Use, CPG Sec. 675.200 Diversion of Adulterated Food to Acceptable Animal Feed Use, and CPG Sec. 555.650 Reconditioning Foods by Diversion for Animal Feed.
FDA/CVM interpretation of The Act in relation to pet food/animal food is significantly in violation of The Act. Why?
Commissioner Hamburg, a recent FDA warning letter regarding Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea was cited for misuse of the word ‘enhanced’. Yet pet food, covered under the same legal policies as green tea (and any other food) is allowed to make ‘direct or indirect unqualified claims’ (AAFCO PF7) and allowed to include ingredients sourced from diseased animals and animals that have died other than slaughter. Why? Why are words such as ‘enhanced’ so closely scrutinized by FDA yet pet food is allowed to run rampant over The Act?
Your response would be appreciated.
Should I receive a response, you will be provided with it. But don’t hold your breath.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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