There has been a lot news from the cereal aisle in the last few weeks. First, we learned that some of our favorite breakfast cereals are totally lacking in nutrition. Then, we found out that Froot Loops and other cereals claiming to be a “Smart Choice” are no such thing. And now, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies are being taken down a notch with the food company agreeing to remove the banner from their boxes that claim the cereals help boost immunity.
The move came after the San Francisco city attorney challenged Kellogg to prove that claim. Despite Kellogg’s insistence that the vitamins A,B,C, and E, found the in the cereal have been proven to support the immune system, they caved. In a statement on their Web site, Kellogg blames the move on the Swine Flu:
While science shows that these antioxidants help support the immune system, given the public attention on H1N1, the Company decided to make this change. The communication will be on pack for the next few months as packaging flows through store shelves. We will, however, continue to provide the increased amounts of vitamins A, B, C and E (25% Daily Value) that the cereal offers.
Marion Nestle, a Professor of Nutrition at New York University says Kellogg’s decision to drop the immunity claim is “wise” and disputes the so-called “science” the statement refers to. Pointing out that just about all nutrients play some part in immunity, she warns that unless Kellogg’s and other food manufacturers are reigned in by the FDA, they will continue to promote their products with questionable marketing.
Kellogg’s may not have intentionally been trying to mislead consumers into thinking their products will help battle Swine Flu, but according to the FDA, the same cannot be said for other companies. They are warning about products that falsely claim to diagnose, prevent, or otherwise act against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Check out the list of offenders here.