By: Darrin Duber-Smith
One of the tasks of the Food and Drug Administration is to regulate what goes into the products we buy, well, at least the products that we put in and on our bodies. When it comes to foods, the FDA manages a list of acceptable ingredients that it considers to be GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe and updates that list from time to time. It's all pretty simple unless you are selling dietary/nutritional supplements, which is a whole different set of regulations altogether. But when a tiny granola company based in Massachusetts began insisting that its products contain "love", the regulatory agency took exception. Is this ridiculous?
Obviously the inclusion of love as an ingredient is a marketing tactic used by marketers at Nashoba Brook Bakery, an allusion as to how much the bakers care about what they do. But don't expect the FDA to care a lick about that. It's the agency's job to make sure that what a company says is in the product is actually in the product. And apparently love is not only difficult to quantify, but its inclusion on a product label is also fodder for an FDA warning letter.
The FDA also cited numerous other code violations at the facility that included mislabeled products, sanitary violations, as well as a 1-inch long "crawling insect" seen in the pastry area. Indeed, the FDA shows no love when it comes to consumer safety and doesn't want marketers to take liberties when it comes to telling consumers what is and what isn't in their products. Until love becomes a GRAS ingredient, marketers would do well to just leave it out entirely.
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