N.J. bakery shut down by FDA for mislabeling sugar, fat content

A cupcake from the Butterfly Bakery in Clifton, N.J. TheButterflyBakery.com

A Clifton, N.J. bakery has agreed to close after the Food and Drug Administration cited them for violating the law by claiming their products had less sugar and fat than they actually did.

Laboratory analysis showed that foods labeled as "sugar free" from The Butterfly Bakery actually had sugar and up to twice as much as the total fat than what was said on the label.

Butterfly Bakery and its president Brenda Isaac are banned from processing and distributing food until they comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and applicable regulations, according to a news release.

On the Butterfly Bakery's website, Issac claims, "The Butterfly Bakery is here to make sure you can still live deliciously. We have been in the kitchen cooking up some new dietary restrictive treats that we can't wait to share. But let's take the word restrictive and replace it with indulgent... that's better. You deserve to indulge even if you are watching your sugar, staying away from gluten, counting calories or just making a lifestyle choice to eat healthier."

On Dec. 8, 2010, the FDA sent an inspector to collect samples of Butterfly Bakery's No Sugar Added Blueberry Muffins and Sugar Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Upon analysis, they discovered that the No Sugar Added Blueberry Muffins had more than 20 percent excess fat and saturated fat than listed on the label. One serving was supposed to have 3.5 g total fat and 0.5 grams saturated fat. Instead, an analysis revealed it had 9.44 g total fat. During a check analysis, it actually had 10.5 g total fat and 2.3 grams saturated fat, over 200 and 360 percent than what was listed respectively.

The Sugar Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins was said to have 3.5 g total fat and 0.5 g saturated fat. What it actually had was 9.64 g of total fat and 2.72 g saturated fat. A check analysis revealed that the products had 9.95 g total fat and 1.84 g, still way above what the company was claiming.

In addition, both products did not label a major food allergen, milk, on their label. They also mislabeled the serving size.

All the misinformation listed were violations of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The FDA sent a letter to Butterfly Bakery in May 2011, and a consent decree of permanent injunction was issued on March 13.

The Butterfly Bakery admitted on their Facebook page they were aware of the FDA claims and voluntarily entered into the consent agreement. They pointed out that only three of the 45 items they sold were cited, and the items were only part of one of the five types of baked goods they made. The company added that it takes years for warnings and claims to be processed, and the items in question are no longer being produced.

"Butterfly Bakery wants to assure all of its customers that we take continuous pride in the integrity of our products while practicing good manufacturing and ensuring the safety and quality of our products. We are confident that our product claims are true and we are continuing operations to satisfy our customer's needs," they wrote.

The FDA said that this closure serves as a warning that the organization takes false claims on goods seriously.

"This injunction demonstrates that the FDA will seek enforcement action against companies that mislead consumers on the products they purchase," said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA's acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "Until Butterfly Bakery meets FDA regulations, it will no longer be able to process or distribute their products."

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