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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014

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KDKA-TV: FDA warns maker of Cheerios about cholesterol claim

Monday, May 18th, 2009

People see it as a breakfast food, a snack but hardly a medicine. 

The Food and Drug Administration thinks it's labeled like one and that's why it's coming down on a cereal maker.

With the claim it can lower cholesterol, is the cereal Cheerios a drug?

"I think it's ridiculous," says one man. "It's Cheerios."

Another man supports the FDA's enforcement of the packaging labeling.

"They have to change the labeling on the package," he says. "They can't make a claim that's not supported by the evidence."

"Cholesterol is definitely something people can control through the way they eat," says a woman. "But whether Cheerios helps, I don't know."

"My husband he eats it every day, so I guess he believes it," says another woman.

The FDA has sent a warning letter to General Mills, the company that makes the toasted whole grain oat cereal.

The agency takes issue with the product's label, claiming the food can lower cholesterol by 4 percent in 6 weeks and that a study shows eating a one and a half cup serving twice a day can reduce bad cholesterol, along with a low fat, low cholesterol diet.

"You can't say you've studied it, unless you've truly studied it scientifically, by controlling all the other variables, and making sure the effect is strictly due to the cereal," explains AGH cardiologist Dr. George Gabriel.

To read more, visit KDKA-TV's web site.

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