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No love on the label? Uncle Sam goes too far

The Nashoba Brook Bakery, in Massachusetts, was admonished

The Nashoba Brook Bakery, in Massachusetts, was admonished by the FDA for placing the word "love" as an ingrediant on its granola. The government asked the manufacturer to remove it. Credit: Nashoba Brook Bakery

Where is the love?

Not, apparently, in the granola.

That was the conclusion of the Food and Drug Administration, which told a Massachusetts bakery that it had to remove the word “love” from the list of ingredients on its granola. The FDA’s rationale was priceless. In a letter to Nashoba Brook Bakery, the agency said ingredients “must be listed by their common or usual name. ‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient.”

Grandma, who puts a little love in everything she cooks, would disagree. The bakery could face “seizure and injunction” if it doesn’t correct its egregious error. Really? The same agency whose maddening bureaucracy can take a decade to approve a lifesaving drug or act on trans fats and still has done nothing about harmful food dyes, might seize a bakery that says it adds love to its food? It’s everything people hate about government overreach and pointy-headed regulation.

We’re not making light of the FDA’s vital protective role. But we’re pretty sure that no one actually thought “love” was part of the granola, or conducted tests to find the elusive ingredient. As bakery owner John Gates told NPR, “Love actually ends up being a really important part of what we do.” Grandma couldn’t have said it better.