FDA orders changes to Diet Coke Plus

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered The Coca-Cola Co. Inc. to take prompt action to correct labeling violations on the beverage firm’s vitamin- and mineral-fortified Diet Coke Plus.

The agency, in a letter sent Dec. 10 and released Tuesday, said the product’s use of the word “plus” does not comply with FDA regulations. “Plus,” the letter said, should be used when a product contains a level of nutrients higher than what would normally be expected in the plus-labeled food, or in conjunction with nutrients that are added to food, as long as that food complies with FDA policy. Agency policy, the letter said, does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods such as carbonated beverages.

The letter did not describe what action the beverage firm should take, but said that if the company did not make a correction to the product, further action, including the possible seizure of the product could follow.

Coca-Cola North America spokesman Scott Williamson said in a written statement that Coca-Cola takes the FDA’s claims seriously, but does not believe the product is in violation of FDA policies.

“We will provide a detailed response to the FDA in early January,” Williamson said.