FDA issues warning letters for two green tea drinks

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration recently issued two warning letters to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Unilever for their respective green tea beverages, stating that the companies' nutritional claims are not in compliance with FDA regulations.

The FDA sent a warning letter on Aug. 30 to DPS regarding the sparkling green tea ginger ale product from its Canada Dry brand. The regulatory agency said that the beverage maker's product label "bears a nutrient content claim that is not authorized by regulation," using such beverage content claims as antioxidants, enhanced with vitamin C and fortified with nutrients. The FDA said in its letter, "[the agency] does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods, such as carbonated beverages."

A similar warning letter was issued on Aug. 23 to Unilever, which stated that Unilever's Lipton green tea labeling on the brand's website contained therapeutic claims. Lipton's website claimed that green tea was cited as a reducer of cholesterol levels in people with coronary disease in four recent studies, which the FDA said implied that "the product is a drug because it is intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease."


The FDA requested executives from both companies to respond to the citations within 15 days and to outline their plans for addressing the problems.


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