FDA: “Love” Is Not An Ingredient in Granola

Brown sugar, rolled oats and even nut yes, but feelings no, says U.S. regulatory agency.

The United States Food and Drug Administration released on Tuesday a warning letter addressed to Nashoba Brook Bakery. The letter reprimanded the Massachusetts based wholesaler and baker about ingredients it has listed in its granola.

The letter focused on one particular ingredient. The letter said the ingredient that the granola listed as “love” is not a usual or common name of any ingredient, and is considered intervening material since it is not part of the usual or common name of any ingredient.

The CEO at Nashoba John Gates said that the take by FDA on love as a granola ingredient felt George Orwell-like.

He added that he likes that love is listed as an ingredient in its granola, as people ask the company what makes the product so good. It is nice that an artisan bakery can say love is in the granola and it helps to put smiles on the face of people.

However, he continued, situations such as this where the federal government tells you that you cannot list love as one of granola’s ingredients because if could be deceptive just sounds silly.

The bakery received a warning as well about products that had been prepared, packed or held under conditions that were unsanitary whereby they might have been contaminated or whereby possibly rendered as injurious to one’s health.

In a statement that was sent out via email to media, the FDA announced that its concerns related to love were not amongst the top concerns of the agency. It said the bigger violations had been sanitary issues.

The statement by the FDA said the agency expects Nashoba to correct serious violations found in the inspection the agency carried out as noted in its warning letter to the company.

Nashoba sells products it makes in close to 120 stores, with most of the stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, says its website. It has been operating close to 20 years, has 75 full- or part-time employees and has between $4.5 million and $5 million in annual sales.

Some of the observations by the FDA, in particular related to sanitation issues, proved helpful said the CEO, while others is called “nanny state” like that about love not being an ingredient and the critique by the FDA over the company calling one bread it makes “whole wheat.”

Gates said the company would comply with what the FDA has requested and will respond to the regulatory agency sometime next week.