April 9, 2013
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) today sent a letter to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requesting that the agency review the misleading product name on Martin’s “100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread,” manufactured by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.
“This product name is confusing and misleading to consumers, not to mention an oxymoron,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread’ contains potato flour in addition to whole wheat flour and, therefore, should not be called 100 percent whole wheat. Whole wheat bread must be prepared in accordance with ingredient requirements set forth in FDA regulations And those regulations require that the only flour that can be used is whole wheat flour.”
Greenberg further stated that “while it is laudable that the primary ingredient in Martin’s ‘100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread’ is whole wheat flour, the 100 percent whole wheat designation is certainly misleading.” She urged the FDA to require the product label to state “potato bread made with whole wheat” whenever the name of the bread appears on the product label.
Government agencies and scientific communities have been widely promoting the consumption of whole grains, and manufacturers have responded by marketing a large variety of products with labels highlighting the presence of whole grains. FDA became so concerned about the proliferation of claims that may be misleading to consumers, that in 2011 it sought permission to conduct a study about consumer perceptions of whole grain claims.
“The wide array of whole wheat claims in the bread aisle is overwhelming to consumers trying to decide which breads are the healthiest,” said Greenberg. “All products making whole wheat or whole grain claims should be required to specify clearly and accurately the percentage of whole grains. We call on FDA to ensure that Martin’s no longer represents its product as ‘100% whole wheat.’”
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.