WASHINGTON, March 6, 2002 -- Have you been wondering whether Wonder Bread really helps kids' mental development, as recent ads have claimed?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) didn't think so, and now Interstate Bakeries Corp. has agreed to find another line of work for Professor Wonder, the fictional scholar featured in advertisements produced by Campbell Mithun LLC.

The way Prof. Wonder explained it, Wonder Bread was a good source of calcium and, therefore, it should help children's minds work better and retain information longer. The FTC charged that there was no scientific evidence to support the claim.

The proposed settlements announced today for public comment would prohibit both IBC and Campbell from claiming that any bread product, or any of its ingredients, helps brain function or memory, or can treat, cure or prevent any disease or related health condition, unless they have reliable scientific substantiation for the claims. The orders would allow the respondents to make representations specifically permitted by the Food and Drug Administration.