FDA vs. Cheerios: The Weirdest Battle in History

Cheerios is a brand of cereal manufactured by General Mills, consisting of pulverized oats. It was first manufactured in 1941 as “Cheerioats,” but the name was shortened in 1945 to “Cheerios.” In May 2009, the FDA sent a letter to General Mills, indicating that Cheerios was being sold as an unapproved new drug, due to labeling that claimed that eating two 1½-cup servings daily of Cheerios could reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4%. The letter indicated that General Mills needed to change the way it marketed Cheerios or apply for federal approval to sell the cereal as a drug. General Mills responded with a statement that the FDA approved their claim of soluble fiber content and that claims about lowering cholesterol had been featured on the box for 2 years. In 2012, the FDA determined that the cereal’s promotional claims were supported by credible scientific evidence. While Cheerios can be a great addition to a cholesterol-lowering diet, it’s important to remember that they are not a miracle cure. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise is key to keeping your cholesterol levels in check. So, enjoy your Cheerios, but don’t forget the bigger picture.