As always, the Food and Drug Administration has its eye on the ball and its arms around freedom…in a big, stifling bear hug. The Founders no doubt intended that the federal government would have a passel of people in charge of telling successful condiment producers what they can put on their labels. For freedom.
In this case, the federal government has decided a vegan company cannot put the name “Just Mayo” on its clearly labeled vegan mayonnaise product because the company doesn’t include egg whites in the mixture and does include some healthy stuff, like beta carotene. One would think most could discern from a vegan “Just Mayo” product that advertises itself as a vegan mayo product that it probably doesn’t have eggs—an animal product—in said vegan product. But why trust the American consumer when you can crack down on a small, upstart business selling a product people like to the people who like it? And, if we are to concede that it is indeed horribly misleading to call this product mayo, does it have to be a function of the federal government to correct this?
In a warning letter sent to Hampton Creek earlier this month, the FDA noted several “significant violations” of federal regulations. The first complaint is that Hampton Creek uses the term “cholesterol free” on the label of its “Just Mayo” products.
Nevermind that Just Mayo is, indeed, a cholesterol-free food. While the FDA allows foods with up to two milligrams of cholesterol per serving to bear claims that they’re free of cholesterol, this statement is forbidden on products “customarily consumed” in small amounts if they a) have more than 13 grams of fat per 50 grams and b) fail to “disclose the level of total fat in a serving of the product in immediate proximity to the cholesterol claim.”