FDA Warns Snack Bar Company for Misleading Labels

June 24, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. violate / ˈvaɪ əˌleɪt / (v.) – to break a law or agreement
Example: He was fired for violating the contract.

2. packaging / ˈpæk ə dʒɪŋ / (n.) – the material in which a product is enclosed
Example: The snack’s packaging is very appealing.

3. door to door / ˈdɔr təˈdɔr / (idiom) – going from one house to another to sell a product
Example: Our business started only by selling our product from door to door.

4. complainant / kəmˈpleɪ nənt / (n.) – a person who files a formal charge against another party
Example: The complainant won the case.

5. misleading / mɪsˈli dɪŋ / (adj.) – giving information that is not true
Example: The customers complain about the company’s misleading advertisement.


Read the text below.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent a warning letter to food company Kind for inappropriately labeling its products as healthy.

The FDA specified that at least four Kind bars violate its labeling rules. These snack bars include Almond and Apricot, Almond and Coconut, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants.

According to the agency, these snack bars cannot be considered healthy, as they contain too much saturated fat and not enough protein. The FDA added that the label “plus antioxidants” cannot be added in the snacks’ packaging because the products do not have enough antioxidants.

Fortune magazine reported that Kind is a fast-growing company. Founder Daniel Lubetzky started out the company by selling Kind bars door to door in Manhattan, New York. It first became available in stores in 2004. During the first year, the product made $1 million in sales. In 2008, the company’s sales reached $15 million, which increased to almost $120 million in 2012. However, the sales this year might decrease, especially if the FDA orders the company to remove its products in stores.

After the warning letter from the FDA was made public, Kind received three class action lawsuits—charges filed by one or more complainants representing a larger group. The lawsuits are about the company’s packaging with misleading information.

Despite the complaints, Kind still assures consumers that its products are safe and nutritious. Soon after receiving the warning letter, Kind has started working on the adjustments required by the FDA.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you regularly ate Kind snack bars, would this article make you stop eating it? Why or why not?
·         How should Kind be penalized if it fails to make the necessary adjustments?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some companies put misleading information in their products?
·         How can companies earn the trust of their customers?

June 24, 2015