Just when I thought the marketers of “empty calories” couldn’t be anymore misleading in their health claims Kellogg’s reaches a new low. By increasing the required application of sprayed on synthetic vitamins (10% to 25% of RDA) on their Rice Krispie cereals, Kellogg’s states there is legitimate justification to claim that the cereals will “Help Support Your Childs Immunity”. The shameless opportunism taking advantage of the consumer insecurities perpetuated by the H1N1 propaganda machine.
And scarily the FDA and FTC, the so-called protector of public interest, agree that this is a legitimate claim. Cocoa Krsipies is 40% sugar by weight! How can this support the immune system when sugar and other glycemic promoting ingredients such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (which was the target of the last BS claim by 7-up as “All Natural”) are known to reduce immunity effectiveness, sugar for example hinders the effective absorption of vitamin C on a cellular level. What is interesting is that Kellogg’s says that the Institute of Medicine substantiates the claim by acknowledging that these “increased ingredients” have been proven to support immune system functionality. Great! Let’s take these ingredients out of context and make a claim of their performance. Based on this logic Jack Daniel’s can make the claim of being an effective hydrating drink based on the high percentage of water in the ingredients.
Fortunately local governments like San Francisco are standing up for their constituents and challenging both Kellogg’s and the FDA on the claims.
This really puts the spot light on the FDA/FTC and whose interest they are really supporting. The history of government recommendations and guidance has been rife with special interest limitng the effectiveness or even the accuracy of what is promoted to the public. The first food pyramid set up by the USDA with the focus of promoting a healthy diet was completely altered by the Beef and Dairy lobbies and finally changed 25 years later.
Not that there is any further evidence needed but the Kellogg’s campaign reiterates the need for more responsible companies who won’t resort to misleading propositions but present goods in a manner that allows for conscious and thoughtful decisions, where the truth is not hidden from view. The alternative is the steady decline in health and a perpetual breach of trust creating a sick, apathetic and passive population.