Public Release: 

Using new FDA regulations, Kellogg takes the lead in promoting heart-health benefits of folic acid

Porter Novelli

WASHINGTON, DC April 4, 2000 -- Kellogg Company announced today that it will be the nation's first leading food manufacturer to communicate on many of its adult targeted cereals that "adequate intakes of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 may promote a healthy cardiovascular system."

"We are pleased to launch the first major application of the Food and Drug Administration's new regulations concerning structure/function claims on packaged foods," said Guy H. Johnson, Ph.D., vice president, nutrition, Kellogg USA.

The FDA regulations, issued in January, differentiate structure-function claims from health claims. Under the new regulations, structure-function claims, "describe the effect of a nutrient or dietary ingredient on the normal structure or function of the body."

The claim is based on a comprehensive assessment of the scientific evidence by experts in a variety of nutrition and public health sectors, including an international panel of leading vascular researchers. "Thirty years of accumulated research suggest that adequate intakes of folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 may help promote a healthy heart," said Eric Rimm, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health.

Consumers can identify the newly fortified Kellogg's(R) cereals by looking on the front panel of the box for a red star with a blue banner that says, "Good News for Your Heart -- 100% Daily Value Folic Acid, B6, B12" or by reading the nutrition facts panel. Additional information on the three B-vitamin's link to heart health will appear prominently on select cereal boxes.

The Kellogg's® cereals specially formulated for the structure-function claim are: Special K®, Special K Plus®, Product 19®, Smart Start®, Complete® Wheat Bran Flakes, Complete® Oat Bran Flakes, Crispix®, All-Bran®, All-Bran® Extra Fiber, All-Bran® Bran Buds®, Just Right®, Healthy Choice ® Low Fat Granola, Healthy Choice® Low Fat Granola with Raisins and Healthy Choice® Mueslix®.

"Kellogg Company's decision to put a structure/function claim on these cereals demonstrates the leadership a major food company can provide in communicating nutrition science to the public," said Maureen Storey, Ph.D., associate director, Georgetown Center for Food and Nutrition Policy. "Kellogg evaluated the research with the panel, examined other reviews of the research, and translated public policy into a heart healthy message for consumers." The center, with support from Kellogg Company, was responsible for assembling the scientific panel that reviewed the research.

"Kellogg Company has a long-standing tradition of applying the latest research to provide consumers with foods that meet their demand for health benefits as well as taste," said Johnson, Kellogg USA. "In fact, Kellogg pioneered modern health claims when it printed the National Cancer Institute's dietary recommendations on its high-fiber All-Bran® cereal boxes in 1984."

One way folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 may help promote cardiovascular health is by keeping a normal level of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid made in the body, and our bodies use folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 to further convert homocysteine to other compounds. When people don't get enough of these B vitamins, homocysteine accumulates in the blood and may damage arterial walls.

According to the most recent USDA Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII), an estimated 49 percent of American adults do not consume the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of folic acid from foods. Additionally, nearly 40 percent do not consume the RDA of vitamins B6 and 28 percent have sub-optimal intakes of B12. The Kellogg's® cereals now fortified with 100 percent of the daily values of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, provide consumers with a delicious way to meet dietary recommendations for these important heart-healthy nutrients.

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With sales of nearly $7 billion, Kellogg Company is the world's leading producer of ready-to-eat cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including toaster pastries, cereal bars, frozen waffles, and veggie foods. The company's brands include Kellogg's®, Special K®, Rice Krispies®, Eggo®, Pop-Tarts®, Nutri-Grain®, and Morningstar Farms®. Kellogg icons such as Tony the Tiger® and Snap!® Crackle!® Pop!® are among the most recognized characters in advertising. Kellogg products are manufactured in 20 countries and marketed in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information, visit the Kellogg Web site at http://www.kelloggs.com. TM, ®Kellogg Company © 2000 Kellogg Company *Healthy Choice ® is a registered trademark of ConAgra, Inc. used under license

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