Will Frozen Cherry Pies Soon Contain Fewer Cherries?

The FDA is moving to deregulate them, but industry bakers say we shouldn’t be concerned.

LONGMONT, CO - FEBRUARY 25:  The cherry pie at the GoodBird Kitchen,  a new restaurant in Longmont, CO on Thursday, February 25, 2016.  It is a supreme casual comfort food kinda place and is located at 1258 S. Hover Road in Longmont. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/ The Denver Post)

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LONGMONT, CO - FEBRUARY 25: The cherry pie at the GoodBird Kitchen, a new restaurant in Longmont, CO on Thursday, February 25, 2016. It is a supreme casual comfort food kinda place and is located at 1258 S. Hover Road in Longmont. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/ The Denver Post)

Photo by: Cyrus McCrimmon

Cyrus McCrimmon

Perhaps you hadn’t noticed, but if you’ve bought frozen cherry pies here in America at any point over the last few decades, you were assured of a few things -- among them: a) that the pie’s cherry content constituted no less than 25 percent of the weight of the entire pie and b) that no more than 15 percent of the cherries “by count” used in the pie were, according toU.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, “blemished with scab, hail injury, discoloration, scar tissue, or other abnormality.”

Apparently not all fruit pies are as strictly regulated as frozen cherry pies -- but that may be about to change.

The FDA is following through on former commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s stated goal to “de-regulate frozen cherry pie” – meaning that when it comes to cherry content and quality, frozen pie makers don’t have to adhere to the federally established standards to which they have been held for decades – according the Associated Press.

How concerned should consumers of frozen cherry pies be? Lee Sanders, the American Bakers Association’s senior vice president of government relations and public affairs, told the AP she feels “confident our members are producing cherry pies with more than enough cherries.” (She didn’t say anything about the blemish factor, though – just sayin’.)

Next in the FDA deregulation crosshairs, the AP reports: French dressing, which current regulations stipulate must contain, among other ingredients, “not less than 35 percent by weight of vegetable oil.”

Who knew?

Photo: GettyImages

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