The Food and Drug Administration has made the news lately for disapproving a Massachusetts bakery’s inclusion of “love” among the listed ingredients in its granola products. Nashoba Brook Bakery produces breads and granolas that are sold in independent markets and fine-food stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As the FDA primly put it, “‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.” The concern with such “intervening material” is that it may distract from the mandatory listing of ingredients in the order of redominance.

In fairness to the FDA, objecting to the listing of love as an ingredient was not the main point of its warning letter. The FDA conducted an inspection of Nashoba Brook’s plant, and the bulk of the letter lists sanitary and food-storage violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice. Obtaining and reviewing product labels is a typical part of such inspection visits, and this resulted in the FDA’s detection of the love ingredient violation.

The moral here is simple. There are a lot of places on your packaging where you can be cute, but the FDA mandated facts panel and ingredient statement are not among them.