CRN responds to Lazy Cakes controversy

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Thursday issued a statement regarding the growing controversy surrounding Lazy Cakes — a brownie containing melatonin, an ingredient that helps establish more normal sleeping patterns — that has been cited in a New York Times article as having “flagrantly mimic[ked] the soothing effects of hash brownies.”

Other published reports suggested the Arizona Department of Health issued a mandatory recall of Lazy Cakes following the report of an adverse event.

“Conventional food products, including cakes and brownies, that are fortified with a dietary ingredient, such as melatonin, are not dietary supplements despite being labeled that way; they are mislabeled conventional foods,” CRN president and CEO Steve Mister said. “For a conventional food product to include a dietary ingredient, a company must either seek approval as a food additive or achieve generally recognized as safe status for the ingredient,” he said. “CRN has reached out to the agency and encouraged it to take swift action against these products.”

In the New York Times story, reporter Catherine Saint Louis cited an FDA spokesman who said that the agency had not yet made a determination on whether Lazy Cakes qualified as a food or supplement. However, the precedent already set by the agency suggested that Lazy Cakes may soon be a recipient of a warning letter.

For the full New York Times report, click here.

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