health matters

Brown Out: FDA Lobbied to Ban Colas' Caramel Coloring Over Cancer Concerns

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2012 11:58 AM

When the news came out of the state of California a year ago that the stuff that makes your cola beverage brown has been linked to cancer, there were a number of consumers that likely didn’t put their change into the vending machine that day.

The amount of that compound (4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI) in soda would cause the state to need to put warning labels on all of its cans, NPR reports. This, in turn, led to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to lobby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color,” according to NPR. Coke Clear, anyone?

While the cola companies and caramel manufacturers are obviously stating that there is no validity to these claims, the FDA is also chiming in that this could be much ado about not much. In any event, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which account for almost 90% of the U.S. soda market, have tweaked their formulas in compliance with the Californian law — averting the need to add a cancer warning label.Continue reading...

brand bites

Rally To Restore Brand Bites

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 29, 2010 11:00 AM

You can't spell the brand "Yakult probiotic yogurt" without "yak." (above)

"Do you realize that toilet paper has not changed in my lifetime? It's just paper on a cardboard roll, that's it. And in ten thousand years, it will still be exactly the same because really, what else can they do?" George Costanza, meet the new tube-less Scott toilet paper.

Can branded content be funny? Is branded content just another name for product placement? Yes and yes.

Hermes and Yamaha unveil their $62,000 motorcycle (but does it come with Kelly Saddlebags?)

Expectations run high for slogans and signs at tomorrow's Stewart/Colbert rally in DC.Continue reading...

lather, rinse, rebrand

Corn Sugar vs. Corn Syrup: Sweet-Talking Consumers

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 14, 2010 03:45 PM


Here's a story that illustrates why many Americans abhor the practice of branding and its practitioners.

The Corn Refiners Association, the lobbying arm of US manufacturers of high-fructose corn syrup, is petitioning America's Food and Drug Administration to change the name of corn syrup to "corn sugar."

The lobbying group applied today for permission to drop the "corn syrup" moniker, arguing that "the name is confusing consumers." And when the Association says consumers are "confused" about what the product actually is, what it means is that consumers (now) "perfectly understand" what the product actually is.Continue reading...

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