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FDA says Kind Bars aren’t as healthy as company claims

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By Minda Smiley, Reporter

April 16, 2015 | 3 min read

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter to Kind last month to warn the company that it is violating labeling regulations by putting the word ‘healthy’ on some of its snack bars that do not in fact meet health standards.

The agency claimed that the company is misbranding some of its products by labeling them ‘healthy,’ because its Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants bars contain more saturated fat than the agency allows for in its health labeling rules.

FDA requirements state that companies can only use the word ‘healthy’ on labeling if the product is 'low in saturated fat,' which it deems is one gram or less.

The bars mentioned above contain anywhere from 2.5 to five grams of saturated fat per 40 grams of food.

William A. Correll Jr., director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, wrote in a letter to Kind: “None of your products listed above meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim ‘healthy.’”

Joe Cohen, SVP of communications at Kind, said in a statement: “Nuts, key ingredients in many of our snacks and one of the things that make fans love our bars, contain nutritious fats that exceed the amount allowed under the FDA's standard. There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence supporting that nuts are wholesome and nutritious. This is similar to other foods that do not meet the standard for use of the term healthy, but are generally considered to be good for you like avocados, salmon and eggs. Our team at KIND is fully committed to working alongside the FDA, and we’re moving quickly to comply with its request.”

KIND was also called out for other issues regarding labeling, including the use of a plus sign on some of its products to highlight extra antioxidants or fiber.

The FDA said the symbol is misleading unless the food contains at least 10 per cent or more nutrients than a bar that the FDA has named an appropriate reference food.

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