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FDA Warning to Dreyer's

Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, Inc., in February 2010, received an overnight letter with the title "Warning Letter" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), charging the company with using misleading or false information on the label of two of its products. The overnight letter named two products in violation of the requirements of the act. The products are:

  • Nestle Drumstick Classic Vanilla Fudge
  • Dreyer's Dibs Bite Sized Ice Cream Snacks Vanilla Ice Cream with Nestle Crunch Coating

The letter was made public in March and asked the company to respond in writing within 15 days, outlining the specific actions the company planned to take.

Fat Content in Question

The FDA complaint is in regard to the fat content of the products. The FDA requires that food labels declaring fat values higher than 13 grams of total fat or 4 grams of saturated fat per labeled serving "must bear a disclosure statement (immediately adjacent to the claim) referring the consumer to nutrition information for those nutrients. . . ."

The Nestle Drumstick Classic Vanilla Fudge label declares:

  • 19 grams of total fat
  • 10 grams of saturated fat

The Dreyer's Dibs Bite Sized Ice Cream Snacks label declares:

  • 28 grams of total fat
  • 20 grams of saturated fat

Dreyer's has not yet issued a public release of information of their response to the FDA.

Food and Drugs Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, said she is making reliable nutrition labeling of food products a top priority for the FDA. In an open letter to the food industry, Dr. Hamburg said it is more important than ever that labeling be truthful and not misleading, because of the widespread occurrence of obesity and diet-related diseases in the U.S.

Other claims Dr. Hamburg cited as unauthorized were:

  • Unauthorized nutrient content claims
  • Unauthorized use of terms such as "healthy" because such words have strict regulatory definitions

To make it easier for consumers to identify calories and nutrients in packaged foods, Dr. Hamburg in October 2009 issued a new initiative on front-of-package labeling she wants the food industry to gear up for.

History of Dreyer's

The founder of Dreyer's ice cream, William Dreyer, formed a partnership with candy- maker Joseph Edy in 1928 to establish a small ice cream factory in Oakland, California. In 1953, the two dissolved their partnership. Edy returned to making candy and Dreyer's son took over the ice cream business.

Other landmarks in the company's history:

  • By 1977 Dreyer's became the leading ice cream maker in the West
  • 1981 Dreyer's is sold as Edy's brand east of Rockies
  • 1981 Dreyer's goes public
  • By 1994 Dreyer's has the largest ice cream company in the U.S.
  • 2006 Dreyer's becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nestle Company and is no longer a public company
  • Today Dreyer's is a $2 billion company with over 6,000 employees

When You May Need a Consumer Fraud Lawyer

Even companies that are well known can make mistakes. If you believe that you may a been a victim of false advertising, or deceptive information on a food label, please contact one of our consumer fraud attorneys today. We may be able to help you seek compensation.