Nestle made misleading drink health claims: FDA

The headquarters of food giant Nestle is pictured in Vevey August 6, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Swiss food giant Nestle made misleading claims about the health benefits of some children’s beverages, U.S. regulators said in letters released on Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration, in a December 4 letter, said Nestle made unauthorized nutrient content claims about Juicy Juice Brain Development Fruit Juice Beverage (Apple), Juicy Juice All-Natural 100% Juice Orange Tangerine and Juicy Juice All-Natural 100% Juice Grape.

The FDA said the company, for example, used the statement “no sugar added” on the brain development drink. That type of claim is not permitted for foods intended for children under age 2, the agency’s letter said.

Pam Krebs, a spokeswoman for Nestle Beverage, confirmed the company had received the letter on the Juicy Juice products. “We are intending to fully cooperate with the FDA in bringing this matter to a conclusion,” she said.

In a separate December 3 letter, the FDA said Nestle’s Boost Kid Essentials Nutritionally Complete Drink, in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors, was promoted as a “medical food” but did not meet requirements for that type of claim.

A representative for Nestle Healthcare Nutrition, the division that markets the Boost products, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The FDA posted the letters on its websitehere.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Dave Zimmerman and Richard Chang