You'd think bean curd would practically sell itself in Portland, which www.goveg.com calls "the nation's leading vegetarian city."
But apparently this week's Rogue, Dae Han Tofu, felt its white, flabby cubes needed to be a little more attractive to Portland's health nuts. A routine federal inspection of the company's Northwest Portland facility revealed several violations.
Namely, the Food and Drug Administration contended in a May 11 warning letter to Dae Han Tofu that the protein content of its Organic Tofu was only 61 percent of what the label claimed. FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Magill says every food product must contain at least 80 percent of the nutritional levels advertised on its label.
Besides accusing Dae Han owner Calvin Chun of inflated protein counts, the FDA also charged Chun with mislabeling his entire product line.
All five of his tofu creations' packages bragged about being "low calorie." But even the leanest among them exceeded the FDA's definition for that term. Dae Han's worst offender, its "Hot-n-Spicy" variety, topped the standard by as much as four times.
The FDA also said Chun's wares did not deserve the "high protein" label they brandished. The FDA requires so-called high-protein foods to deliver 20 percent of consumers' daily needs for protein. Dae Han falls short of that, serving up from 10 to 15 percent.
Chun, who was threatened by the FDA with product seizure as a penalty for the violations, told WW he would change the labels to reflect the lab's findings. But he adds that it would be nearly impossible to meet the FDA's standards.
Really? The FDA database shows no records of any other tofu manufacturers in the Northwest being charged with mislabeling at any time in the past five years.