What is in this article?:
One look at these "stress-busting" brownies, and it's clear they are destined to be viewed as a snack by consumers. And yet, the manufacturer labels the product a dietary supplement. Is this a problem for consumers and industry?
Not a dietary supplement
Although the Lazy Cakes label carries a Supplement Facts panel, the product is not a dietary supplement, according to Attorney Marc Ullman, a partner at New York City-based Ullman, Shapiro and Ullman. “They are an adulterated food and unapproved new drug,” Ullman says.
The Lazy Cakes product is not the only food- or beverage-based product on the market to include strong dosages of melatonin and carry a dietary supplement label. Others include Kush Cakes, Lulla Pies and Mary J’s Relaxation Brownies. Melatonin can be legally used in supplements, but it has not been approved as a food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor has it received generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status—one of which is required to be legally used in food and beverage products.
By slapping a Supplement Facts panel on the label, the manufacturers of Lazy Cakes and other melatonin-laced products are hoping to get around the FDA’s food labeling laws.
"It sounds to me like they are trying to claim that the entire brownie is like a tablet, which is, of course, preposterous," Charles Czeisler, MD, head of sleep medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women's Hospital, told the New York Times.