Kellogg’s “Immunity” Cereal Not Immune to Oregon Attorney General

Remember the absurd immunity claims on Kellogg’s cereals last year? The company added some vitamins and minerals to its sugary kids cereals and plastered a huge “Immunity” logo on the front of Cocoa Krispies and three other products. A public uproar ensued, especially given raging swine flu, and Kellogg’s announced in November it would pull the claim from its packaging.

Concurrently, Oregon’s Attorney General subpoenaed Kellogg’s and asked for the scientific evidence behind the claim. The company preferred not to answer that question but rather:

  • stop shipping cereal boxes with immunity language by January 15
  • destroy more than 2 million boxes (sans krispies)  with the immunity claim
  • donate 108,000 boxes of cereal to the Oregon Food Bank
  • donate 372,000 boxes to  Feeding America.

That’s quite an effort just to evade answering a question for which obviously Kellogg’s should have been prepared.

What you need to know:

Cocoa Krispies, as we wrote, is a terrible cereal to feed your kids. The krispies are over 40% sugar by weight. They contain trans fats. They carry artificial flavorings, and less than 1 gram of fiber. Immunity? Ha! This was sheer chutzpah on Kellogg’s part. Good for Oregon!

We hope that the donated cereal is the plain unsweetened variety of Rice Krispies.

What to do at the supermarket:

Hard as it may be, ignore all the marketing messages on product packaging. Go straight to the nutrition panel and the ingredient list.

Help us test our new food comparison tool:

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  • Dr. Susan Rubin

    Here’s an idea. When a food product like Kelloggs cereals has excessive amounts of refined sugar, let’s require a big WARNING label across the front of the box.

    Something like: The Surgeon General has determined that this product may be hazardous to your health.

    Or: Sugar has been shown to DEPLETE your immunity. Use with caution.

    That way, we’ve got a little bit of informed consent happening.

  • Nan VanPelt

    Who wrote this article??? This cereal has BHT in it which is a cancer causing preservative. There are a lot of cereals out there that have tocopherol which is a healthier preservative. To say this is a decent cereal is nuts. I wouldn’t even feed my dogs anything with BHT let alone my children or myself.