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Fake Fat Gives Midwesterners Diarrhea

A consumer group asked the government Monday to ban the nation’s first zero-calorie fat replacer, which the group says gave 192 Midwesterners diarrhea, some who were sick for days.

Citing an 11-year-old Colorado boy who missed three days of school after eating six ounces of Frito-Lay potato chips made with olestra, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said warning labels on the fake fat aren’t enough protection.

“Your products are making some of your best customers sick, some of them very sick,” CSPI chief Michael Jacobson wrote Frito-Lay Monday, the same day he asked the FDA to ban olestra.

Olestra manufacturer Procter & Gamble called the claims an “irresponsible” attempt to frighten Americans. Frito-Lay said 200,000 bags of “Max” chips have sold so far, and only 67 people have called the company to complain of gastrointestinal side effects.