Less than two weeks after a consumer fraud class action was filed in California against the company that makes Muscle Milk® beverages and protein bars, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter to its CEO warning that the products are misbranded because their labels either prominently feature the word “milk” without containing any or state that they contain no milk while made of milk-derived ingredients. The letter also warns that health-related claims or “0 trans fat” assertions are unauthorized because the products contain too much fat or too much saturated fat. The July 29, 2011, letter demands a response within 15 days of receipt. Additional information about the lawsuit appears in Issue 403 of this Update.

According to a news source, CytoSport has indicated that it is “proactively and openly addressing the FDA’s labeling concerns” and also notes, “Concerns like this have been raised before when the dairy lobby complained that other industries or products like Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk and Rice Milk are using the name ‘milk’ in connection with a product other than fluid dairy milk, all of which appeal to lactose intolerant consumers just as Muscle Milk does.” Meanwhile, a dairy industry spokesperson reportedly said, “We are gratified that the FDA has finally gotten off its duff and done something with respect to at least one product.” See (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel, July 31, 2011.