The yellow immunity ribbon soon to be removed from boxes.
On November 4th the Kelloggs Company made the decision to remove the immunity statements from their boxes of Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies cereal. A large yellow ribbon across the boxes of these cereals reads; “Now helps support your child’s immunity.” With the country in an uproar regarding the swine flu, critics say that the claim is inaccurate and misleading.
Over the last year Kelloggs has been putting antioxidants into the cereal. Kelloggs says "These nutrients have been identified by the Institute of Medicine and other studies as playing an important role in the body's immune system. Therefore, we believe the claim is supported by reliable and competent scientific evidence."
A dietician, Kari Glassman, featured on CBS news yesterday states, "The second ingredient in Cocoa Krispies, which is the one I have the real problem with, is sugar. It also has high-fructose corn syrup, another refined sugar, and partially hydrogenated oils, otherwise known as trans-fats. Overdosing on sugar actually weakens our immune system. So, although antioxidants are important to boost our immune system, slapping it on a sugared cereal, we can't slap immunity across it. It's very misleading to parents out there, especially with what's going on in the world right now (H1N1)."
The change was finally decided after the president of the company, David Mackay, received a letter from the San Francisco city attorney Dennis J. Herrera stating “The immunity claims may falsely suggest to parents that cereals like Cocoa Krispies are more healthy for their children than other breakfast foods that are not high in sugar and not highly processed,” He also states “The immunity claims may also mislead parents into believing that serving this sugary cereal will actually boost their child’s immunity, leaving parents less likely to take more productive steps to protect their children’s health. At a time when parents are increasingly worried about the spread of the H1NI virus, it is vitally important that parents receive accurate information about what they can do to protect their children’s health.”
While the ingredients in these cereals will remain the same, Kelloggs will phase out these boxes with the immunity claims on them over the next 2 months.