Food Labeling

FDA Warning to Bakery: You Can't Say There's 'Love' in Your Granola

The government taking away your bakery because you listed "love" as an ingredient in your granola isn't very, well, lovable.

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Ingram Publishing/Newscom

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible, its website reminds us, for "the safety and security of most our nation's food supply."

And it takes that responsibility seriously. Very seriously. So seriously that so much as a little joke on the label of a granola bar can trigger a legal warning.

The FDA just whacked Massachusetts-based Nashoba Brook Bakery for claiming that "love" was an ingredient in its granola. Seriously.

"Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient 'Love'. Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name," the FDA wrote in an official warning letter sent to the bakery Tuesday. "'Love' is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient."

No shit.

Without "prompt action to correct the violations" identified in a recent inspection—it also cited the bakery for not accurately labeling sub-ingredients in its sourdough bread, for an employee wearing a nose ring while kneading dough (presumably not with his or her nose), and damaged floor and ceiling tiles—the FDA threatened to take regulatory actions "without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction."

The government taking away your bakery because you listed "love" as an ingredient in your granola isn't very lovable.

John Gates, CEO of Nashoba Brook Bakery, told Bloomberg the FDA's letter "just felt so George Orwell."

"I really like that we list 'love' in the granola," Gates said, according to Bloomberg. "Situations like that where the government is telling you you can't list 'love' as an ingredient, because it might be deceptive, just feels so silly."

Maybe, but once you let one bakery put "love" in its granola, where does it end? Birthday cakes layered with happiness? Macarons stuffed with mirth? One wonders how the republic would survive without a government agency regulating the level of bliss in our biscuits or the passion in our pastries.

Sadly, this is not the first time the FDA has gone after the labels on granola bars. In 2015, the administration filed a complaint against Kind LLC for using the word "healthy" on the packaging despite levels of saturated fat that were, under FDA rules, too high for such a description.

The use of "love" on an ingredients list is the most ridiculous complaint filed against Nashoba Brook Bakery, but the rest of the letter identifies several other instances where products were "misbranded," according to the FDA. Reading it gives you some sense of the headache-inducing regulations facing American businesses that want to do nothing more dangerous than make some bread.

2. Your Nashoba Granola product is misbranded within the meaning of Section 403(q) of the Act [21 U.S. C. 343(q)] because it fails to bear a nutrition facts label in accordance with 21 CFR 101.9. In addition to wholesaling this product, you also sell this product at your retail café using the same wholesale label.

3. Your Whole Wheat Bread (retail) product is misbranded within the meaning of section 403(g)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 343(g)(1)] because it is a food for which a definition and standard of identity has been prescribed by regulation, but it fails to conform to such definition and standard. The label states "whole wheat" and "slow rise breads from . . . ." Therefore, it is represented as whole wheat bread for which a standard of identity exists under 21 CFR 136.180. Under the standard, the dough must be made exclusively from whole wheat flour. This product contains wheat flour and corn meal. Therefore, it does not meet the standard of identity for whole wheat bread.

It goes on like that for a while, but you get the point.

Suffice to say, if the FDA were required to list its ingredients, "common sense" would not be among them.

NEXT: Congress Could Let All Patients Have the 'Right to Try' Without Going Through the FDA's Complicated Application Process

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  1. Ewwwwwwwwwww!!

  2. Is it to be assumed that Reason doesn’t have a beef with the existence of the FDA or that mandatory labeling is a ‘thing’. The only gripe is that the FDA doesn’t have a sense of humor or common sense?

    The FDA is 100% correct in issuing rulings of this sort, provided you accept the premise of an FDA and the powers it has been given.

    1. I don’t know what Reason’s stance on them is, but I say that a government agency that kills thousands of people a year by keeping drugs and devices off the market that we know are saving lives in other countries should be abolished.

      -jcr

    2. It IS to be assumed that Tom Bombadil is a humorless smuggy party pooper who needs to take the dictionary out of his ass.

  3. I wonder how many people I know would agree vehemently with this ruling? I wonder what happens when we die?

  4. So “love” is just semen, right? I mean, doesn’t the FDA allow a certain amount of semen in food products? How many calories in jizz, anyway?

    1. Taken from Bing.com, because I am a hipster:

      “The normal size egg is about 35 cubic centimeters in volume and contains about 14 calories and 3 grams of protein. the normal size ejaculation is about 5 cubic centimeters, or one-seventh the volume of an egg white; figure it, therefore, to contain about one-seventh the nutrients ? approximately 2 calories and .1 gram of protein.”

      Of course, I usually ejaculate about half a cup of semen on a go, and so results may vary.

      1. What’s a “go?” Is that short for “Eggo?” Do you spritz your frozen waffles with some special sauce?

        1. I only come on active matches of Go, the ancient Chinese board game. It’s like chess but smarter. You probably haven’t heard of it.

          1. Your requirements for getting off are becoming increasingly specific.

            1. Well, I come in a lot of things. I only come on Go matches.

      2. “about one-seventh the nutrients …….and .1 gram of protein.”

        3 / 7 = 0.1?

        And the sentence starts by describing an “egg”‘s volume and nutrition and ends with comparing semen ejaculate to “egg white” volume. WTF?

        1. A large egg is 50g and 78 calories (6g protein), says every calorie site on the interwebz. 50g ~= 50cc, since as you half-assed chefs must know, eggs barely float when you are boiling them.

          Wow. The only thing Bing got correct in this entire thing is the 5cc average ejaculate volume.

          [BTW, jizz is about 1% sperm, the rest is sugars and water. Sorry, No protein]

      3. “results may vary”

        Ok cause I was going to say…

      4. Peter North’s loads must be at least 100 calories apiece.

    1. Soccer hooligans are supposed to be the fans, not the players.

  5. “Love Granola” was my nickname in college.

    1. “Mirth Macaron” was mine.

  6. maybe I am overreacting, but I wish an owner would just say no, wait for the federal enforcers to arrive, arm the cooks with shotguns, and have it turn into an armed standoff over listing “love” as an ingredient. Unfortunately this type outcome seems like a requirement before people will demand less regulation, or a less than literal interpretation of the regulations.

    1. Not a good idea, the coverage would focus on the other charges, and on the whole “armed standoff with antigovernment extremists” bit.

      Anyway, people who make granola and list love as an ingredient aren’t likely to have enough firepower to deal with a standoff with the feds.

      1. maybe so, but that whole wildlife grazing land standoff thing grabbed attention and brought a bunch of support. I just figure if everybody starts doing this, eventually they will run out of men with guns to send to whole foods for stocking unpasteurized milk, because they will be too busy “raiding” a dunkin donuts for refusing to limit the sugar content to the FDA allowed levels.

        1. I’m cynical enough to think that armed resistance would lead to bigger law-enforcement budgets and more armed FDA agents, backed up of course by U. S. Marshals, etc.

    2. I wish an owner would just say no, wait for the federal enforcers to arrive, arm the cooks with shotguns, and have it turn into an armed standoff over listing “love” as an ingredient.

      Apparently you haven’t watched Enemy of the State.

      1. Why do you say that? that move was inspirational. All you have to do is fight back, blow up a building if you make a phone call, ?, and then you win.

        1. It didn’t turn out for the cooks with shotguns.

          1. no but I am not a cook. I will drink a toast to all the fallen cooks after it is all over.. besides, one of those cooks could be Casey “F’in” Ryback, then it will be the feds running scared.

      2. Came out the same weekend as The Rugrats Movie so of course I didn’t see it.

      3. But I did watch Enema Of The State.

    3. It’s hard to pull of real #resistance when the media is largely pro- state.

    4. You aren’t overreacting. This is what we need more of.

    5. arm the cooks with shotguns

      And in catch phrase from that movie would be, “I don’t get paid enough for this shit.”

  7. I would really like to watch her eat that granola bar.

    1. For a second there I thought this was an ENB article.

  8. Gee, what would have happened if they listed ‘hate’ as an active ingredient?

    1. They would have to charge more.

    2. As per the above conversation, I often cook with hate paste.

  9. “Situations like that where the government is telling you you can’t list ‘love’ as an ingredient, because it might be deceptive, just feels so silly.”

    As silly as listing love as one of the ingredients?
    I think the FDA should be burned to the ground and the ashes used used as fertilizer… But, this bakery can write “made with Love” all over the rest of the package. Why is it silly for the mandated list of ingredients be restricted to only the actual ingredients?

    1. Ashes are not approved for fertilizer. Nice try, though.

  10. Hey Trump, I heard that the FDA said that you have small hands. They also said you you too big a puss to do anything about it.

  11. I bet the granola bar has one of those creamy centers that squirt into your mouth when you bite it.

  12. Having just read the fda letter, I think that if I were there CEO, I wouldn’t have gone to the media.

    1. The FDA should just make him list, “Now with 10% more lies.”

    2. Yea. “The FDA is coming after for listing love as an ingredient and having bugs in our food” isn’t very compelling.

  13. OT: Even if true I am sure it will be easily forgotten, but really:

    But there is an unexplained 24 minute delay as armed and ready officers were forced to wait outside the suspect’s hotel room door.

    1. Best Answer: This was a false flag operation to give further credence to both continued race war and degradation of gun rights.

      Likely Answer: Incompetence on the part of the SWAT team.

      1. It seems like what happened in Orlando, where someone made the call for officers armed with rifles to wait for SWAT.

        1. An hour long dispatch for SWAT is questionable as well then. Though, I will step back and say there’s a lot of factors here I don’t know. So I will actually defer to cops on this one, no matter how much my instinct is to hate.

          1. You wanna be responsible for making the SWAT team angry because they didn’t get their fun?

          2. “An hour long dispatch for SWAT is questionable as well then. Though, I will step back and say there’s a lot of factors here I don’t know. So I will actually defer to cops on this one, no matter how much my instinct is to hate.”

            Not me.
            “When seconds count, they’re only [60] minutes away!”
            The guy was visibly shooting from that floor right there in that hotel right there. The elevator works; get in that elevator, get to that floor and see what you can do! WTF were the cops doing for an hour?
            I’ve yet to see one hint of why it took 60 goddam minutes to get from the lobby to floor 32. Until someone comes up with a plausible answer, I’m going with cop-incompetency which cost many of those lives.

    2. Only 24 minutes? what happened with the other 40?

    3. They were waiting for the single bang and thump to the floor, that told them it was time to escalate the situation. It’s not like there was a toddler in a playpen inside.

      Even if true I am sure it will be easily forgotten, but really:

      No, even my wife noticed that it was a ridiculously long delay between first shot and takedown (ha).

  14. The problem isn’t the world ‘love’, but the loophole allowing it would leave to the unscrupulous.

  15. They should have just listed “mayo” as an ingredient, nobody has a problem with mayo being whatever the hell you want it to be.

  16. It’s killing me to know who filed a complaint.

    1. The other bakery in town?

      Or maybe the FDA doesn’t respond to complaints.
      What happened, is that YOUR legislators passed a law, and left the minor details to a bunch of bureaucrats. Those bureaucrats need to feed their egos and build an empire to justify a higher and higher salary, and a bigger budget. So the FDA winds up with ‘authority’ to wander around the country poking it’s nose into businesses, and find stuff wrong. They have to find stuff wrong, because if they actually went a year without finding violations, the budget and staff would get cut, and their empire shrink.
      So YOU caused this with your careless vote.
      Be more careful in the future.

    1. Like to “list her ingredients”, eh?

  17. Well, yeah, because eating granola is like easting gravel

  18. There was a time, before the FDA, where companies would routinely lie about their ingredients or simply not list them at all. Sometimes the details seem overbearing, but it is important for consumers to have an accurate listing of ingredients. Listing “love” as an ingredient is advertising, and advertising does not belong in an ingredient list. It is also important that the words used have common meanings. You can’t have every company making up its own definition of terms like “whole wheat.”

    Food preparation safety requirements are also necessary and must be followed. Same with allergens.

    The company tired to be loosey goosey with their cleanliness and cutesy with their ingredient list. They should be nailed for that for the public health.

    1. You can’t have every company making up its own definition of terms like “whole wheat.”

      Imagine the chaos. Lives would be lost. Bread would be produced in ways that aren’t approved by the federal regulators. Whole wheat would lose its meaning as a category. Red blood would run through the streets.

      1. If only there were entities that could report on such things. It seems odd we have to get this through government. Oh. Hang on. There are things like food reviewers? What is this Consumer Reports magazine you speak of. There’s an app for my phone where random people can describe products and services? Who knew! And why didn’t Who tell me more soon?

        And to think that in this health conscious era that not one single producer would voluntarily label their products is just fucking stupid. To further think that no one else would test the veracity of those claims is stupid. Any work the FDA performs is reactionary and post any potential harm caused, so their usefulness is, as government always is, no more useful than writing a report. Hey, that sounds just like reading Yelp, minus the bureaucrats.

    2. “There was a time, before the FDA, where companies would routinely lie about their ingredients or simply not list them at all.”

      Lying about their ingredients would have been illegal at the time.

      A statute requiring a list of ingredients on the box/can/jar could be enforced in the courts.

      1. And there are public health departments which are separate from the FDA.

    3. Mollyg|10.3.17 @ 10:30PM|#
      “…but it is important for consumers to have an accurate listing of ingredients…”

      Molly, you’re full of shit and it is easy to show that you are, indeed, full of shit:
      When you visit friends for dinner, do you ask an accurate listing of ingredients, Molly?
      When you go to a restaurant, do you ask an accurate listing of ingredients, Molly?
      No, you don’t Molly.
      You are full of shit.

      1. Harrumph.

    4. Just like you can’t have every company making up its own definition of terms like “organic”, right?
      I mean, clearly those chemists got it wrong — ‘organic’ just has to mean more than ‘molecules containing carbon atoms’ or my feelz are being ignored.

      1. With tge exception of salts and such, all food is pretty much chemically organic.

  19. Who will crack down on “Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.”?

    1. The Killdozer Corporation?

    2. NHTSA is probably planning a raid as we speak.

    3. Wait. What?
      This article is about banning Subaru??
      Waht next?

  20. But listing ingredients by their common name and alleging love is not a common ingredient aren’t the same thing.

  21. If you agree to bake the wedding cake, but refuse to use love as an ingredient, can the gay couple still sue you?

    1. Without question.
      A gay couple can sue anyone for anything.
      The dems say so.

  22. What if the bajery wirkers are not feeling the love and can only manage a dutiful indifference?

  23. (presumably not with his or her or their nose)

    FIFY

  24. FDA Warning to Bakery: You Can’t Say There’s ‘Love’ in Your Granola – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post by imo for pc Please visit imo app imo app snaptube for pc snaptube app

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