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NJ Bakery Shuttered after Labeling Sugared Products as 'Sugar-Free'

Update Date: Mar 14, 2013 04:40 PM EDT

Sugar-free substitutes have hit the sweet spot in recent years, luring both people with diabetes and people watching their weight to businesses. Although often sugar-free options are held up as guilt-free ways to enjoy a snack, they are no trivial matter. A bakery based in New Jersey has been forced to shut its doors until it rectifies its rule-breaking, which included listing items as sugar-free when they contained sugar and churning out ingredients that had much more sugar, fat and saturated fat than listed on the product labels.

According to ABC News, Butterfly Bakery is based in Clifton, New Jersey. It opened its doors in 1998, marketed as a way to produce tasty baked goods that would not be cheating a person's diet. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration found that the bakery was not as wholesome as it appeared.

According to NBC News, one of the company's items was called the No-Sugar Added Blueberry Muffins. The label said that one serving of the item, or half a muffin, held 3.5 grams of fat. In reality, that very portion contained 9.4 grams of fat, which comes out to 170 percent of what the label said. Another item, the Sugar-Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, had 444 percent of the saturated fat that the label claimed.

In fact, the FDA had been wise to the bakery's tricks for quite some time. In 2011, the agency asked the company's chief executive Brenda Isaacs to stop improperly labeling the baked goods. It appeared that the company ignored the agency's pleas.

Finally, a judge issued a consent decree to close the bakery's doors. The company will not be allowed to process or distribute its wares until the firm falls in line with the agency's regulations. Even afterwards, the FDA will be allowed to assess damages if the bakery continues to violate the law or the consent decree.

In a statement, the FDA said that the Butterfly Bakery was to be made an example to any other rule-breakers. "This injunction demonstrates that the FDA will seek enforcement action against companies that mislead consumers on the products they purchase," Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA's acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, stated.

The agency also said, "[Laboratory] analysis showed that foods labeled as "sugar free" contained sugar, and that certain products contained as much as three times the amount of labeled/declared sugar, two times the amount of labeled/declared fat, and two times the amount of labeled/declared saturated fat."

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