Apparently, when you say that your breakfast cereal is “clinically proven to lower cholesterol,” the FDA takes an interest. The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog writes about the FDA’s warning letter to General Mills in regards to the packaging and advertising of Cheerios. A claim that your food can mitigate or prevent disease is enough to put your product on shaky legal ground, it turns out.

The company fired back with a statement including some classic legalese flourishes (General Mills “look[s] forward” to “discussing” the matter with the FDA) but makes what appears to be a solid point overall: It’s got science to back up its very specific claim.

Reporting on the story in its health blog, Booster Shots, the Los Angeles Times had this to say about the Cheerios kerfuffle:

“Here’s more on the nutritional merits of whole grains from the Harvard School of Public Health. And if you appreciate context, you’ll like the part about industrialized roller mills.”

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