What does Diet Coke have to do with vitamins and minerals? It may depend on whom you believe.
It would seem that the nutritionally negative liquid would be the farthest thing from healthy, but Coke, which released Diet Coke Plus last year says its product is a “good source of several essential vitamins and minerals,” namely B3, B12, zinc and magnesium.
But the Food the Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t buying it.
Today the agency posted a warning letter about Diet Coke Plus.
The letter, written by Roberta Wagner from the FDA’s Office of Compliance to Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, claims the agency has reviewed the label for Diet Coke Plus and finds it in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because of misbranding.
The FDA says that it, “does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods such as carbonated beverages,” and the label does not identify the reference food and the percentage of the amount of nutrient.
For example, the label displays magnesium sulfate at 10 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for magnesium; zinc gluconate at 10 percent DV for zinc; niacinamide at 15 percent for the DV for niacin; vitamin B6 at 15 percent and B12 at 15 percent.
The nutrient content does not meet the crieteria to make the claim, of the word “plus,” says the FDA.
And, the agency complains that Coke does not have a comparison beverage that would justify using the word “Plus” for this one.
Coke tells the Associated Press it does not plan to immediately change the label, but will respond to the FDA in early January.
“This does not involve any health or safety issues, and we believe the label on Diet Coke Plus complies with FDA’s policies and regulations,” says spokesman Scott Williamson to AP.
Diet Coke Plus was released in March 2007, to compete with energy and enriched beverages that contain herbs, ginkgo, calcium and caffeine.
After much scrutiny, the FDA has allowed health claims on foods such as oatmeal which is allowed to say, “may reduce risk of heart disease.” #