Dr Pepper and Unilever warned by FDA

THE US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday warned beverage makers Dr Pepper Snapple and Unilever about making improper statements regarding green tea on product labels and web sites.

In a letter dated 30 August and released yesterday, the regulator said Dr Pepper’s Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale was misbranded because the product label improperly used the word “enhanced” relating to antioxidants from green tea.

“We received the FDA’s letter today and are reviewing its contents,” a Dr Pepper spokesman said. “We look forward to working with the FDA and addressing the issues raised.”

In a letter dated 23 August and released yesterday, the FDA said Unilever improperly promoted a Lipton green tea product with wording that would make it a drug under federal regulations. The promotion cited studies showing that tea lowers cholesterol.

“The therapeutic claims on your web site establish that the product is a drug because it is intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease,” the FDA said.

It also said that Lipton had made unauthorised nutrient claims for the tea.