The Girl Scouts of the USA are trying to defend themselves against criticism that the Mango Creme cookie is nothing but a sugary sham.
The Scouts raised eyebrows last month when they began selling the cookie, touting a partnership with NutriFusion.
The South Carolina-based company makes GrandFusion, a product made by grinding freeze-dried fruits and veggies into a powder and adding it to various foods. NutriFusion says its product "supercharges" the nutritional value of food without altering its taste.
"GrandFusion is a blend of fruits and/or vegetables that can significantly increase the nutritional profile, and therefore the marketability, of food, beverage and snack products," the company says on its website.
ABC Bakers, one of two national suppliers of Girl Scout cookies, went a step further by stating that the new cookie contains "all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes and strawberries!"
ABC adds: "Try some today and enjoy a delicious new way to get your vitamins!"
That claim, including the exclamation points, must have been a bridge too far for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the public-health advocate group out of Washington, D.C. The group's CEO, Anna Maria Chavez, sent a letter to the Girl Scouts, urging them to stop promoting the cookie as a healthy product.
"Unfortunately that cookie does not have the 'nutrient benefits' of eating fruit, but does have 4 grams of heart-disease-promoting saturated fat and 11 grams of tooth-decaying sugars per three-cookie serving," the letter says.
Are the cookies horrible for you? Not if you don't eat a whole box at a time, probably.
According to the label, each three-cookie serving (36 grams) has 15 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B1, and 6 percent each of A, C, D, E and B6. A serving also has 180 calories and 8 grams of fat. By comparison, a two-cookie serving of the popular Caramel deLites has 130 calories, 6 grams of fat (5g saturated) and 12 grams of sugar.