Never in the long illustrious history of condiments has there been so much controversy over mayonnaise.
Food startup Hampton Creek has received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration claiming the company?s Just Mayo products are ?misbranded? because they do not meet the definition and standard of identify for mayonnaise.
The letter states that not only does the product lack eggs, a requirement under the legal definition of mayonnaise, but it also includes ingredients not permitted in the condiment: modified food starch, pea protein, and beta-carotene.
?We?re going to be sitting down and working collaboratively with the FDA to find common ground on this,? Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick told Fortune, adding that he had a conversation with the agency earlier today. ?We?re going to be responding to the letter thoughtfully and honestly.?
One critic of ?big food? says the FDA is missing the point. ?There is innovation happening here and unfortunately, it?s looking like the FDA isn?t quite keeping up with the innovation,? says Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. ?It?s a shame because the last thing we need is hindrance in the marketplace, especially at a time when we?re facing a dramatic egg shortage.?
This is not the first time that Hampton Creek has been under fire for the ingredients in Just Mayo.
Last fall, Unilever filed a civil action against the startup, alleging false advertising and unfair competition because of Just Mayo?s lack of eggs. Hampton Creek?s Just Mayo competes with Unilever?s Hellmann?s brands, and the claim noted that Just Mayo was stealing market share from Hellmann?s. Unilever, which was criticized for taking on the pipsqueak rival, ended up dropping the lawsuit.
Read more at?FORTUNE