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Kellogg pulls immunity claims from Rice Krispies

November 05, 2009|Associated Press

Kellogg Co. says it will pull immunity claims from its Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies cereal boxes amid the public's growing concern about swine flu.

Kellogg began adding extra antioxidants to its cereal last year, which it says help support the immune system. The company began advertising the change with large labels on cereal boxes that read in bold letters: "Now helps support your child's immunity."

But the food maker said Wednesday that given the public attention to swine flu, it has decided to phase out the message from its packages.

Kellogg, based in Battle Creek, Mich., said it had heard very little concern from consumers about the claim, but was responding to concerns in the media about the timing of this front-of-the-box claim and the swine flu outbreak.

Company spokeswoman Susanne Norwitz said swine flu was not a concern when the product was in development, and was intended to respond to consumer desire for improved nutrition.

Kellogg said it will take several months to phase out the packaging but it will continue to offer the increased levels of certain vitamins in the cereal.

Food makers have been facing increasing scrutiny for the labels on their products, which have increased in number and scope in recent years.

General Mills was chided by the Food and Drug Administration for claiming Cheerios could lower cholesterol, saying only FDA-approved drugs are allowed to make such claims.

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