Hershey’s Busted For Chocolate Syrup Health Claims, FDA Takes Issue With Labeling

Breaking: Hershey’s Syrup, the stuff that basically sent you into a diabetic coma when you were a kid and so little was left you had to add milk to the container and shake it up, is not a health food or dietary supplement.

Yes, Hershey’s Syrup is, in fact, chocolate syrup. But labeling placed upon the packaging by Hershey’s was the subject of a letter the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent to the company back on February 14, which was made public yesterday by the agency.

In the letter, Hershey’s Syrup was scrutinized for label claims made by the company, specifically Hershey’s Syrup + Calcium and its Syrup Sugar Free with Vitamin & Mineral Fortification, claims that contradicted federal law.

The label claims in question were the uses of the words “plus” and “fortification,” which the FDA says nutritional content of the syrup did not support.

Hershey’s says that the labels were modified upon receipt of the letter, but Hershey’s spokesman Jeff Beckman pointed to a decades-long trend in chocolate syrup marketing that allows for certain claims made by chocolate milk-modifiers of nutritional virtue:

“It came down to a matter of the FDA believing that the chocolate syrup is a snack food, and that we believe it is more accurately categorized as a milk modifier similar to products such as Ovaltine and Nesquik that have been fortified for decades.”

In order to meet FDA guidelines for labeling, the Hershey’s Syrup + Calcium and its Syrup Sugar Free with Vitamin & Mineral Fortification would have to meet a guideline of 10% of daily recommended intake.