San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera started the brouhaha when he wrote a letter to Kellogg President and CEO David Mackay on Oct. 27 requesting scientific research to support the health claims made on the new label. Herrera invoked his authority under California's Unfair Competition Law.
“I am concerned that the prominent use of the immunity claims to advertise a sugar-laden, chocolate cereal like Cocoa Krispies may mislead and deceive parents of young children,” Herrera wrote in the letter, adding that the revised boxes of cereal began to appear on store shelves amid heightened concerns about the H1N1 flu virus.
Kellogg said it has boosted the amount of vitamins A, C and E in the Krispies brand cereals, including Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies, from 10% of recommended daily value to 25%. But the Battle Creek, Mich., company decided to stop making the child immunity claims on Nov. 4. “While science shows that these antioxidants help support the immune system, given the public attention on H1N1, the company decided to make this change,” Kellogg says in a written statement.
The top ingredients in Cocoa Krispies are rice, sugar, cocoa and semisweet chocolate, with one bowl containing 12 grams of sugar, according to Kellogg's Web site.
Boxes of Krispies-brand cereal with the child immunity claim will be available on store shelves for the next few months as “packaging flows through store shelves,” Kellogg says. So get your collector's item now.