Kellogg's Stops Touting Rice Krispies As Medicine

CocoaKrispies.png
Now with less bullshit!
Sorry folks: turns out eating more chocolate cereal may not prevent you from getting the flu. Last week, SF Weekly reported that San Francisco's city attorney Dennis Herrera cracked down on Snap, Crackle, and Pop and sent a letter to Kellogg's CEO David Mackay demanding to see the science behind marketing claims that Cocoa Krispies can "Support Your Child's Immunity," as it reads on the box. Herrera expressed concerns that the company was playing into recent fears about H1N1 flu, and was misleading the public into believing that eating Cocoa Krispies cereal is akin to getting a vaccine.

This morning, Kellogg's released a statement that they are discontinuing the immunity statements on all of their Rice Krispies cereal boxes because of the recent public attention on the swine flu. But never fear, they also write that their cereal will still be fortified with antioxidants. Most importantly though, it will still be 40 percent sugar by weight, which is the reason most people buy the cereal anyhow.

A spokeswoman for the company, Susan Norwitz, wrote in an e-mail that the company started their immunity marketing in May 2009 -- well before the swine flu became an issue. Norwitz said it's coincidental that the package made it to the shelves at the same time that H1N1 fears blew up.

Herrera's office issued a press release this morning applauding the company's decision to cease and desist its immunity claims. "I know many critics viewed this as a cynical marketing ploy to prey on parents' fears about their kids' health, to sell sugary cereal as some kind of new health food," reads a statement from Herrera. "Notwithstanding the health benefits of vitamins, prudence and integrity demanded this step, and I'm glad Kellogg took it."

If Kellogg's is indeed trying to respond to parents' requests for more positive nutrition in children's cereal as they claim, we suggest they also avoid adding "froot" to their list of ingredients.  



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