Consumer Groups Ask FDA To Force Alcohol Makers To Hide Facts from Consumers
Last week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that urges the agency to crack down on a popular hard seltzer because the labeling tells consumers something we apparently can’t handle: the truth.
The hard seltzer in question, Vizzy, is produced by beer giant Molson Coors. Vizzy markets its product line, which contains added vitamin C, with labeling that touts the fact it contains… added vitamin C. But CSPI and CFA say Vizzy shouldn’t be allowed to share truthful information about the addition of vitamin C with consumers because, well, alcohol is bad.
In the groups’ joint letter to Susan Mayne, Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, CSPI and CFA ask the FDA to “take immediate enforcement action” against Vizzy and to issue a formal policy to “prohibit nutrient content claims on alcohol beverages,” including Vizzy and its competitors.
Notably, nowhere in their letter do CSPI and CFA claim the information Vizzy provides to consumers is false. Rather, with a flourish of Orwellian denialism, they claim the truthful information Vizzy provides consumers somehow serves to mislead those same consumers.
To bolster their argument, CSPI and CFA cite a nonbinding 2015 FDA guidance document that states the agency “do[es] not consider it appropriate to add vitamins and minerals to alcoholic beverages.” Notably, the FDA also opposes similarly fortifying a host of other foods, including candy. The guidance document claims adding vitamins or minerals to such foods and beverages “would disrupt public understanding about the nutritional value of individual foods and thereby promote confusion among consumers, making it more difficult for them to construct diets that are nutritionally adequate.“
The assumption tha
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